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Lemon and Herb Stuffed Roast Chicken

Who doesn’t love a roast on a cold winter's evening. Great for bringing family or friends together and creating a Sunday tradition. With citrus and herb stuffing and a winter vegetable roasted side salad this tasty dish is a fresh twist on the classic roast chicken dinner.
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
1 hour 30 minutes
Serves:
4-6

Ingredients

Chicken:

  • 1 Waitoa Free Range Chicken, whole chicken (size 1.5 kg)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin avocado oil
  • ¼ large red onion, finely diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 slices toast bread, cubed (or ½ cup bread crumbs)
    1 tbsp Italian parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin avocado oil
  • salt and pepper

Vegetables:

  • 1 leek, cut in half lengthwise, sliced 1.5cm
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced (reserve fronds for garnish)
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 whole garlic bulbs, sliced in half horizontally
  • 1 ½  tbsp capers, drained
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin avocado oil
  • 300g green beans, blanched
  • 2 tbsp natural almonds, chopped and toasted
  • 2 Tbsp blueberry balsamic drizzle

Method

  1. Remove the chicken from the fridge at least half an hour before you’re ready to cook it and allows it to get to room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C fan bake. Heat a frying pan to a medium-high heat and drizzle in oil. Cook the onion and celery for roughly 3–5 minutes, stirring occasionally until it begins to soften. Stir through the garlic, cook for a further minute until fragrant.
  3. In a bowl, mix the onion mixture, bread crumbs, parsley, lemon zest and juice, butter, egg and salt & pepper together until just combined.
  4. Place chicken onto a deep baking tray. Fill the cavity with the stuffing mixture.
  5. Drizzle the second portion of oil over the chicken. Sprinkle the salt and pepper and massage into the chicken skin with your hands.
  6. Place into the oven and cook for 1 hour.
  7. Remove from the oven and baste the chicken with any juices in the bottom of the tray. Place garlic, lemon, fennel bulb, sliced leek and capers, around the edges of the chicken. Drizzle oil over the vegetables. Place the tray back into the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes.
  8. Pierce chicken with a toothpick to test if it’s cooked. If the juice that comes out is clear, it’s cooked, if there is blood in the juice, cook it for a little longer.
  9. Remove from the oven and cover with tinfoil, leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  10. Toss blanched beans and almonds with the roasted vegetables and arrange onto a serving platter leaving room for the chicken in the centre. Drizzle the blueberry balsamic over the vegetables. Transfer the chicken to the tray and serve immediately.

Tip: To blanch your beans; bring a medium sized pot half full with water to the boil. Drop in the beans and cook for 3–5 minutes or until they turn bright green. Immediately drain and rinse under cold water to stop them from further cooking.

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