1chicken (1.6kg)1 tbspolive oil1lemon, cut into wedgesLemon stuffing80 gmsourdough bread, crusts removed80 ml (⅓ cup)milk1½ tbspolive oil3garlic cloves, crushed3golden shallots, coarsely chopped80 gmduck fat1 tbspcoarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley1 tbspcoarsely chopped rosemary1 tbspthymeFinely grated rindof 2 lemonsSpiced hay250 gmunsprayed lucerne hay (see note)10cinnamon quills10star anise2 tbsp eachfennel seeds, coriander seeds and cumin seedsThinly peeled rindof 2 lemons and 2 oranges
Preheat oven to 180C. For lemon stuffing, combine bread and milk in a bowl, stand until bread softens (10 seconds), drain and squeeze out excess milk (discard). Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and shallot, stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes), cool, then combine in a food processor with bread mixture and remaining ingredients. Season to taste, process to combine and set aside.
Gently separate the skin from chicken breasts with your fingers, then spoon in a little stuffing and spread evenly across breast by gently running your hand over skin to smooth out. Spoon remaining stuffing into cavity, seal with a skewer, season chicken to taste and set aside.
For spiced hay, combine ingredients in a large casserole with a tight-fitting lid, mix well to combine and set aside.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over. Place on top of hay mixture, cover and roast until just cooked through (1½ hours-1 hour 40 minutes). Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Preheat a char-grill pan over high heat, grill lemon wedges until slightly charred and serve with hot hay-roasted chicken.
Note Lucerne hay is available from select agricultural suppliers.
This recipe is from the May 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.