I love Christmas as it’s the time when our supermarkets stock festive ingredients only during this season, such as stuffing mix (seasoned bread cubes) for making traditional stuffed roasted poultry. In this recipe, the combination of roasted chicken with cubed bread stuffing and potatoes looked and tasted deliciously rustic.
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Stuffing mix is essentially cubed bread with herbs and spices. You can use any brand.
Prepare stuffing by melting some butter in a pan and cooking the celery and onions on low heat. Add chicken broth, bring to a simmer. Add stuffing mix, thyme and garlic, lightly coating the bread cubes with the broth. Allow to cool.
Brush olive oil evenly all over the chicken. Season with salt rub, freshly cracked black pepper and garlic powder.
Truss the chicken by tying the chicken thighs together with kitchen twine. Loosely fill (to allow room for the stuffing to expand during roasting) the cavity of the chicken with cooked stuffing mix.
In a roasting tray, coat potatoes and carrots in olive oil (about 1 tbsp) and season with sea salt and black pepper. Arrange one layer on roasting tray. Add thyme, garlic cloves, bay leaves and lemon.
Place chicken on a higher wire rack in the oven, with the roasted vegetables tray beneath it to catch the chicken juices. If you don’t have a wire rack you can prop the chicken on top of the vegetables in the tray. Roast chicken with vegetables tray beneath it in preheated oven of 220°C (428°F) for half hour.
Take the chicken out and baste it with olive oil all over the chicken skin. Return chicken to the wire rack in oven and bake for another 20 minute at 220°C (428°F) and after that, baste chicken once more with olive oil.
Add the remaining stuffing mix to the vegetables tray and mix well. Roast chicken and vegetables at 200°C (392°F) for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.
Cover roasted chicken with aluminium foil and allow it to relax for at least 5 minutes or more before carving.
Serve dinner plate with roast chicken, roasted stuffing and vegetables and not forgetting the crispy chicken skin.