This past Easter I decided to go traditional! It’s not every day I go back to my roots but there’s something about the holiday’s that make you miss home. And nothing brings you back to your childhood like a stuffed bird, roasted vegetables, greens and gravy! Since it was only the 3 of us over Easter I decided a whole chicken would be more than enough.
Though I went traditional on this meal, I have to admit I like to switch it up with my stuffing and try new and exciting flavour combinations.
The grocery store ran out of sausage mince (ground sausage) so I bought 10 miniature sausages.
Peel the skin off of the sausages and put the mince into a medium bowl.
Peel and chop 1 – 1 1/2 granny smith apples and added them to the bowl.
Crush about a cup of walnuts into the bowl (also try with pinenuts)!
Finely chop about 10 -15 leaves of sage and add to the mix.
Add about 1-2 tablespoons of rosemary and/or thyme (both taste good).
Mix in 1 1/2 cups of panko or other bread crumbs, olive oil, salt and pepper, and a tablespoon of honey.
While you are preparing your stuffing it’s a good idea to prep your oven to 200 degrees celsius (390 F).
Next, stuff your chicken with your stuffing, base your large baking pan with olive oil and place your chicken in the middle.
Baste the whole chicken with olive oil.
Top the chicken with rosemary and cracked salt and pepper.
Cover the chicken with foil and place in the oven for about an hour or 1/2 of the cooking time for the size of your chicken (read label for cooking time instructions).
While your chicken is spending the time in the oven it’s time to get onto chopping your veg! I used 1/2 butternut pumpkin, 1 sweet potato, 1 large carrot, 4 potatos and 4 cloves of garlic. This will give you enough for you to have leftovers!
Chop your pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot and potato up very chunky about 4cm sq ( 1 1/12 in. sq).
You will add the whole cloves of garlic with skin on.
When the chicken is 1/2 cooked (about an hour), take it out of the oven and add your vegetables around it in the pan. Coat veggies with a bit of olive oil, rosemary and/or thyme, salt and pepper.
Place the chicken and veg back into the oven leaving the foil on.
Turn the oven down to 170 degrees Celsius (340 F) and cook
While the chicken and veg is roasting, it is time to make the gravy! You will need chicken stock, butter, flour, and pepper.
To make a gravy, add 100 grams (3.5 oz) of butter to a saucepan on med-high and cook until melted.
Next add flour and stir. You may have to keep adding flour until you get a lumpy dry consistency.
Slowly add your chicken stock, stir until smooth. It will be very thick at first so you will need to keep adding chicken stock until you reach a runnier gravy consistency.
Add lots of pepper!
After 30-40 min with the chicken and veg in the oven, remove the foil and cook for another 30 or so minutes or the last 1/4 of cooking time. This is where the skin will start to golden. If you like crispy skin grill (broil) the chicken for the last 3-5 minutes depending on oven size.
Pan Fried Stuffing
While you are waiting for the last of your roast to cook, you can now take the rest of your stuffing and fry it until golden brown in a pan. I always do this. It tastes so good and is actually my favourite part of the whole meal!
Boil your green beans until al dente. Next flash fry them in golden butter, garlic and lemon and set aside.
Lastly, reheat your gravy.
All your elements are now finished- well done! Serve and enjoy!
P.S. Don’t forget to leave some for leftovers! Sometimes it actually tastes better the next day!
5 Regular Pork Sausages or 10 Miniature Pork Sausages.
1 Whole Chicken
2 Cups of Panko or Breadcrumbs
1 Cup of Walnuts
1 – 1 1/2 Granny Smith Apples
10-15 Sage Leaves
Rosemary and/or Thyme
100 grams of Butter
Salt and Pepper
1 Sweet Potato
4-6 Cloves of Garlic