Roast chicken with cranberry stuffing

Roast chicken is a fabulous family treat for everyone, whatever the occasion or celebration is. One of my son’s favourite dishes has to be roast chicken with roast potato, lots of gravy and Yorkshire pudding - enough to make him happy on that day.

I have made roast chicken in the past, but with different marinade and cooking procedure. In this recipe, I have stuffed the roast chicken with dried cranberries. I have marinated the chicken with garlic herb butter. I prepared the stuffing with bread croutons roasted with rosemary and then mixed with onion and cranberry mixture which gives a sweet taste to this dish. On the side, you have roast potatoes with caramelized onion, carrots and garlic. You can enjoy the unbelievable aroma, flavour, taste, home cooked gravy - what else is needed for a fabulous meal to enjoy with family.

Preparation time: 40 mins

Cooking time: 1 hr 40 mins

Cuisine: British

Spiciness: Mild

Serves: 3

Ingredients

  • Whole Chicken with skin (approx 1 kg) – 1
  • Dry Italian herbs – 1 1/2 tsp
  • Dry thyme – 1 tsp
  • Pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Marinade

  • Butter – 40 gms
  • Dry Italian herbs – 1 tsp
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Garlic cloves – 2 or 1 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon thyme fresh – 2 tbsp
  • For vegetables

  • Big potatoes – 3
  • Carrot - 2
  • Garlic cloves - 6
  • Olive oil – 3 tbsp
  • Dry thyme – 1/2 tsp
  • Ground pepper – 1/2 tsp
  • Butter – 2 tsp
  • Rosemary fresh – 2 tbsp or a few sprigs
  • Lemon – 1
  • Stuffing

  • Olive oil – 3 tbsp
  • Butter – 15 gms
  • Bread (white or brown) – 3
  • Garlic clove – 1
  • Fresh rosemary (chopped) – 2 tbsp
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Cranberries – 3 tbsp
  • Onion – 1 (about 80 gms)
  • For gravy

  • Butter – 20 gms
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  • Flour – 2 tbsp
  • Chicken stock cube – 1
  • Hot water – 2 cups
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Pepper - as per taste

Method

    Prepare your chicken

  • Remove the chicken giblets if still attached to it. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry.
  • Herb garlic butter

  • Take a bowl and add melted butter or butter at room temperature along with other ingredients. Mix well. Keep aside until the butter becomes solid.
  • Stuffing

  • Take bread slices and cut like croutons. Chop rosemary, garlic and onion. Keep ready.
  • Take a pan and add olive oil. When hot, add 1 tbsp rosemary and the cut bread. Saute on a low flame until it is crisp and golden. Transfer to a plate. Allow to cool.
  • Crush croutons with your hand or blend in the food processor (or just one pulse is probably enough). The texture needs to be coarse.
  • In the same pan, add butter and remaining olive oil. When hot, add onion, garlic and cranberries. Saute for a few mins until the onion is soft and transluscent.
  • Allow to cool.
  • Mix the onion mixture with crushed croutons and keeps aside. You can even use this stuffing as a side. Sprinkle on top of the potatoes towards the end of the cooking to crisp them even more. It gives a sweet taste and a bit of texture to it.
  • Marinate chicken

  • With the help of your 2 fingers, loosen the meat and skin slightly. Apply the garlic herb butter inside the skin on the chicken breast, its back, its thighs and legs. Be careful not to tear the skin. Rub this garlic herb butter all over and also inside its cavity.
  • Stuff the chicken with the onion and cranberries mixture. Keep the remaining aside.
  • Sprinkle about 1 1/2 tsp of Italian herbs, 1 tsp of thyme, 1/2 tsp of ground pepper and salt on top of chicken breast part evenly.
  • Cover the chicken and place it in the fridge for about 2 hrs or more. You can even start cooking immediately.
  • Preparing potatoes

  • Cut the potatoes and onions with skin into chunks. Cut the carrots into half and quarter it vertically. Cut lemon into half or quarter and place it under the tray or roasting pan. Sprinkle the dry Italian herbs and pepper on the potatoes. Drizzle olive oil on the potatoes and rub with a little butter on the potatoes. Add the garlic cloves with its skin, few sprigs of rosemary, pepper, dry thyme and mix with the potatoes. Add a little salt. Keep it ready.
  • Cooking the chicken

  • Take your whole marinated chicken out of the fridge 30 to 40 min before it goes into the oven. Chicken is best cooked from its normal temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius with fan for about 10 to 15 mins. Place the whole marinated chicken, breast-side up, in a grill or rack and keep roasting pan or tray under the chicken so that any juice/fat from the chicken falls on the vegetables in the roasting pan underneath.
  • Roast the chicken for about 30 mins on one side.
  • Turn the chicken and cook for another 30 mins.
  • While turning the chicken, I turned the potatoes upside down so that the potatoes are well coated with chicken fat which is dripping and also get a good roasting colour. Basting the potatoes with the chicken fats and its juice gives more flavour and the potatoes taste delicious. Wear gloves and turn the potatoes. You need to be careful as the chicken is on the rack.
  • Turn again and cook for another 15 mins, or until the chicken cooked.
  • In the end, if any stuffing remains, it can be sprinkled on top of the vegetable and baked for a few mins to crisp.
  • Take out the chicken carefully with the grill stand and keep it on a plate so that no juices of chicken go waste. Wear your hand gloves.
  • Transfer all the vegetables to a serving plate. You can keep a few like onion, lemon, few garlic cloves to make gravy in the same baking tray.
  • To test if the chicken is ready, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear with no sign of pink, this indicates that the chicken is cooked. Even for the potatoes, insert and check.
  • Apply butter or bast the chicken with butter on the chicken (optional) and cover the chicken with foil and rest for about 10 mins before carving or cutting into pieces to serve.
  • Make gravy while chicken rests

  • Heat the baking tray with olive oil and butter along with few caramelized onions, garlic and cooked lemon. Cook with the remaining drippings over medium-low heat for 1 to 2 mins.
  • Add flour and cook for 1 to 2 mins until the flour changes colour. Stir continuously.
  • Add water and chicken stock cube while stirring and scraping the brown bits. Boil for about 2 mins and then cook further for a few more mins on a low flame until thick.
  • The gravy colour changes from light to dark colour. Season with salt and pepper. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a serving bowl or gravy bowl.
  • Serve roast chicken with the roasted potatoes, homemade gravy, cranberry sauce (optional) and Yorkshire pudding.
  • Halve the chicken to see the stuffing. I have cut the chicken into 4 big pieces.

Notes

  • Use butter and olive oil as per your requirement.
  • Ready made cranberry sauce is easily available in shops.
  • 1/4 cup of water can be added in the vegetables while in the oven.
  • Cooked rosemary sprigs can be removed from the roasted vegetables before serving.
  • The roasted lemon can be squeezed on the vegetables and also in the gravy while cooking.
  • Squeeze the roasted garlic on roasted potatoes, chicken and also into the gravy while preparing.
  • Always use oven gloves and tongs while handling hot things.
  • Cook the chicken as per your oven instructions and until the chicken is fully cooked.

Copyright © 2013 www.oceanofrecipes.com. All rights reserved.