Give Christmas some Michelin-star magic
From a special stuffing for the bird to her family’s favourite florentines, Angela Hartnett lays on a memorable spread
Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Set one carrot, one celery stick and the brown onion aside, and chop the rest of the vegetables into 5cm chunks (or wedges for the red onions). Set aside.
For the stuffing, heat a knob of butter in a pan and sauté the onion and garlic until soft but not coloured. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Place the pork and sausage meat in a bowl and add the cooled onion mixture, herbs, apricots, parmesan, almonds and lemon zest. Mix well to distribute.
Squeeze the soaked bread to remove any excess milk, then add the bread to the stuffing mixture. Season well and stir well again. You can check the seasoning by frying a small spoonful of the stuffing in a frying pan – adjust if necessary.
Lay the chicken on a board, skin-side down with the tail-end towards you. Pack the stuffing on to the flesh, covering it completely. Bring the sides together to meet, enclosing the stuffing, and thread the skin together with three or four toothpicks or a long skewer to secure. Turn the bird over, loop some string around both wings, pull it underneath the bird towards the front and loop around the crossed drumsticks before tying. Season well. Cook the chopped vegetables in a little oil in a large frying pan just to colour them, then tip them into a roasting tin in a single layer. Season and add parsley or sage.
Chop the reserved vegetables into chunks and colour them in a little oil in the pan, then tip into a second roasting tin large enough to hold the bird.
Heat 50g of butter in the frying pan. When it foams and bubbles, add the chicken to colour it very gently, carefully turning it