We've baked the stuffing separately here to crisp it up, but it works well stuffed inside the bird as well. When you make gravy, it's important to cook out the flour to a brown roux before adding the liquid to give it flavour.
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 2 onions, coarsely chopped
- 1 chicken (1.5kg), removed from fridge 20 minutes before cooking
- Melted butter, for brushing
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 12 pitted prunes
- 200 ml dry white wine
- 2 heaped tbsp plain flour
- 500 ml brown chicken stock (see note), at room temperature (2 cups)
- Buttery mashed potato, to serve
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 8 sage leaves, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp thyme, coarsely chopped
- 100 gm crustless sourdough bread, diced
- 6 small chicken sausages (about 550gm), skins removed, meat crumbled
- 1For sausage stuffing, preheat oven to 180C and line a shallow loaf tin with foil. Heat oil and butter in a saucepan over low heat, and sauté onion until softened (10-15 minutes). Add sage and thyme, and sauté until fragrant (30 seconds to 1 minute), then stir in sourdough, season to taste, and transfer to a tray to cool. Add sausage meat and toss to combine, then transfer mixture to prepared tin.
- 2Scatter carrot and onion in a small roasting pan. Place chicken on top of vegetables, brush with melted butter, drizzle with olive oil, season to taste, then scatter prunes around chicken and pour in white wine. Roast chicken and stuffing separately until chicken juices run clear when pierced, and stuffing is cooked, golden and crisp on top (1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes; cover stuffing with foil if it browns too quickly). Transfer chicken to a plate to rest (10 minutes). Reserve prunes separately, and vegetables if desired.
- 3Reserve 2 tbsp of fat from the pan juices, then drain off the remainder (if you haven’t got 2 tbsp, top them up with a little melted butter), return to pan and place over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Add flour and stir continuously until it turns golden brown, ensuring it doesn’t burn (3-4 minutes). Gradually add stock a cup at a time, whisking continuously to emulsify between additions, until gravy comes to a simmer and thickens. Season to taste (strain gravy if you prefer it very smooth).
- 4Cut chicken into pieces and serve with buttery mashed potato, prunes and stuffing. Drizzle with a little gravy and serve the remaining gravy in a jug.
Note To make 2 litres brown chicken stock, brown 1kg chicken carcasses in a roasting pan in a 240C oven, turning occasionally, until well browned (40-50 minutes). Transfer to a large saucepan or stockpot. Deglaze roasting pan with water, scraping up caramelised residue, then add to pot with enough water to just cover bones. Bring to a simmer, ladling off scum as it comes to the surface, then reduce heat to low and simmer, topping up water so bones remain just covered, for 2 hours. Strain and cool. Stock will keep for 3 days refrigerated or 3 months frozen.
Drink Suggestion: Top-quality Beaujolais Drink suggestion by Max Allen