Thursday 21 November 2019

Whole Roasted Chicken with Cranberry and Sausage-Meat Stuffing

Edward Hayden and Anne Neary

There has been a return to old-fashioned, wholesome home cooking and, for some, a roast dinner can still be a challenge! Not so with this simple recipe which is sure to impress your family and friends. Why not use this stuffing in pork steaks or even chicken breasts wrapped in bacon as a tasty alternative? Serves 4.


1 large whole free-range chicken

4-5 sprigs of thyme


1oz/25g butter-melted

Cranberry and sausage meat stuffing:

3oz/75g butter

1 medium-sized onion, diced roughly

Approx 4-5 sprigs thyme, woody stems removed

3oz/75g fresh or frozen cranberries

2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley

7oz/200g soft white

breadcrumbs7oz/200g sausage meat


Melt the 75g of butter in a medium-sized saucepan and add to that the diced onion together with the thyme leaves and cook over a very low heat for 5-6 minutes until they have softened completely.

Mix in the cranberries and freshly chopped parsley and also the soft white breadcrumbs. Season this mixture lightly. Allow to cool and when the mixture is completely cool combine, in a large bowl, with the sausage meat.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Line the cavity of the chicken with some parchment paper and then stuff the cavity with the cold stuffing and secure the flap with a cocktail stick. Place the chicken on to a roasting tray.

Sprinkle a little bit of salt and cracked black pepper over the skin.

Add the thyme sprigs to the tray at this stage and brush the entire chicken with the melted butter.

Transfer the chicken to the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes. At this stage, reduce the temperature of the oven (170°C/ 325°F/Gas Mark 3) and cook for a further hour or until the juices run clear out of the chicken.

The flesh (particularly on the leg and thigh) should feel tender, indicating the bird to be cooked.

Roast Gravy


1 tablespoon plain flour

½ glass white wine

14fl oz/400ml chicken stock


Remove the chicken from the roasting tray and place on a serving platter and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. Place the roasting tray on to the direct heat and sprinkle the flour into the remaining juices on the tray.

Whisk vigorously and then add in the white wine and chicken stock and whisk until the sauce begins to thicken.

Place a sieve over a medium saucepan and pour the contents of the roasting tray into the saucepan (through the sieve, which will catch any remaining sediment).

Simmer the sauce for a further 4-5 minutes and then serve over your delicious chicken.



4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

3 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks

12 shallots, peeled

1oz/25g rapeseed oil

1 tablespoon apple syrup or honey


Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.

Put the chunks of carrots and parsnips into a large saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 8-10 minutes and then strain off the water.

Place the blanched carrots and parsnips on a flat baking tray with the whole shallots and then drizzle with the rapeseed oil and the honey and then season lightly with salt and pepper.

Place in the oven and roast for 20 minutes until cooked through.

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