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Golden Roast Spring Chicken with Pork, Sage and Onion Stuffing

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This roasted chicken is sure to please all. Stuffed (maybe a little too much) with fresh pork mince and a concoction of other delicious ingredients, smeared in butter and covered in bacon before roasted till golden and mouthwateringly juicy.

Roast chicken is an absolute favourite of mine. I firmly believe that smearing butter over the skin makes for a moister bird. 

I use Rangitikei Corn Fed Free Range Chicken. Check them out here. For the stuffing, if you buy a loaf of sourdough use what is left to toast then soak up the juices in the dish.


Ingredients

1 size 16 chicken, washed

Pork Stuffing
100 g fresh sourdough, roughly torn apart
1 medium brown onion, roughly chopped
1/2 c fresh sage
1/4 c fresh Italian parsley
1/2 tsp sweet paprika
Sea salt and ground black pepper
6 fresh pork sausages, meat removed from skins

1 whole lemon, sides slit
1/2 c fresh thyme
1 garlic bulb, sliced through the middle
3 tbsp softened butter, I use Lewis Road Creamery Premium Unsalted Butter
8 streaky bacon rashes


Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

For the stuffing, blitz bread in food processor until it turns into fine breadcrumbs. 
Add the onion, herbs, paprika, salt and pepper and mix until combined.
Add the pork, mix for 10 seconds then stir to combine.

To prepare the chicken, gently separate the skin from the meat at the tail end of the bird. To do this you need to use your hands. It will come away easily, but you need to be careful to not rip the skin. Separate the skin over the legs and all the way down to the top of the breast.
Take a small handful of stuffing and gently push to the end of the sack. Continue to fill the pocked with stuffing, remember to fill the legs.
Use a toothpick to seal the skin at the end to keep the stuffing in place.

In the chicken cavity, place half the garlic and thyme. Add the lemon, then the remaining ingredients and use the bottom half of the garlic as a stopped. This is so none of the ingredients fall out.

Smear the butter all over the chicken, make sure you get the legs and wings as they dry out the quickest.
Cover with bacon. Place in the medium roasting dish, cover with foil and roast for 1 hour 20.

Remove the foil and bacon from the chicken. Add the bacon to the roasted vegetables. Place the chicken back in the oven for a further 15-20 minutes or until golden and utterly delicious looking. 



NOTE: Halfway through the cooking, remove the juices from the oven dish and place in another roasting dish. 
Add another blob of butter on top of the chicken, cover and continue cooking.
Roast the vegetable in the chicken/bacon/pork/butter liquid. Yum!









          Buttered Bird                                                                                              Bird Stuffing                                                                                       Baconed Bird













Leftovers are great in sandwiches with recurrent jelly the next day!






Chicken purchased from Moore Wilsons.






Garnish with crispy bacon, roast vegetables, chopped rocket and fresh lemon wedges






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