Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bread Stuffing for Chicken

There is something about a golden roasted chicken that makes my heart sing. It's such a simple meal that is a thread through my whole life. When I was a kid it was a Sunday special for lunch - we always had roast lunch Sundays no matter the weather, with all the veg and gravy and dessert served at the dining table rather than in the kitchen with silver cutlery and wine in crystal glasses. Even when it descended into battles over eating all your peas or carrots or beans before you could have dessert it seemed like a stand out event.

More often than not my mother made stuffing with bread and I retain a real affection for it. It is different in texture to stuffings made with rice or barley, softer and shot through with the flavour of herbs. I use an egg to bind it and a little lemon to add moisture. Brilliant cold as well. I bought a huge loaf of puglese on Saturday to feed us all sandwiches before the trek to Suffolk - it more than did the job. We had some with supper Sunday night on our return and there was perhaps a third of it left. Dense crumb and slightly stale it was perfect for making stuffing.

Bread Stuffing for Chicken
About two cups of stale bread, ripped into small pieces
1 onion, finely diced
2 rashers of streaky bacon, finely sliced - rind on or off depending on your preference
2 tbspns finely chopped fresh herbs - sage, thyme, oregano and rosemary
1 egg
1 tbspn lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Mix everything together with your hands till the entire mix is moist and well flecked with onion, herbs and bacon then stuff the cavity of your chicken.

Put chicken into a roasting pan with a little olive oil. Season the outside of the bird, then cook at gas 5 for about 30 minutes per pound, basting frequently till your chicken is cooked through, golden and delicious.

Cover with foil and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

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