Chicken with apricot and sage stuffing

Aaron Craze's dinner party chicken, stuffed with apricots and sage, is served with fresh baby vegetables and a tangy lemon sauce
By Aaron Craze
Chicken with apricot and sage stuffing
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus 10 minutes resting time
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 1 medium chicken, boned (see cooks note below)
  • olive oil, for basting and frying
  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • sugar, to sprinkle
  • 20baby carrots
  • 2-3 sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • ½ oranges, juice only
  • ½ lemons, juice only
  • 125 g crème fraîche
  • knob of butter
  • 4 heads baby chard
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 splashes white wine

For the stuffing

  • 200 g dried apricots
  • 1 bunches sage, leaves picked
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, juice and zest only
  • 1 dashes of olive oil

Tips and Suggestions


Your butcher or poultry supplier will usually bone the chicken for you if you ask. If you prefer to do it yourself, turn the chicken upside down, then carefully trim the carcass from the flesh without piercing the skin, removing the thighs, legs and wings, following the bone as close as possible.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7.

2. For the stuffing: put the apricots, sage, lemon juice and zest into a food processor with a splash of water and olive oil and process until the apricots are finely chopped. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Spatchcock the boned chicken in half across its length and spread the apricot paste onto one side in a long even sausage shape. Roll up the chicken into a tight roll and tie with loops of butcher's twine wrapped around the meat at 3cm intervals and tightened with slipknots.

4. Brush the skin of the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Put the chicken in a roasting pan.

5. Cut the lemons in half, sprinkle the cut sides with sugar and put into the roasting pan with the chicken.

6. Toss the carrots in a bowl with the thyme leaves, a squeeze of lemon juice and a squeeze of orange juice.

7. Roast the chicken and lemon halves for 45 minutes-1 hour until the chicken is golden on the outside and cooked through, turning the temperature down to 180C/gas 4 after the first 10 minutes. (Check the temperature inside the cooked chicken with a probe: it should be 78C.) The lemons should be caramelised. 30 minutes before the end of cooking time, add the carrots to the roasting pan to roast in the juices.

8. Let the chicken rest for 5-10 minutes in a warm place before serving.

9. Remove the caramelised lemons from the roasting pan and pass through a chinois into a bowl. Stir in the creme fraiche until well combined.

10. Melt a knob of butter in a heavy-based frying pan, add the baby chard, garlic and a splash of white wine and fry for 2-3 minutes.

11. To serve, slice the chicken and accompany with the roasted carrots, sauteed baby chard and the roasted lemon creme fraiche.

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