Cook1 hr 30 mins
With it's crisp skin, light, juicy stuffing of onion, apple, herbs, and lemon zest, and accompaniment of rich gravy,this is hard to beat!
- 3 -5 sprigs parsley
- 3 -5 sprigs thyme
- 1 (3 1/2-4 lb) broiler-fryer chickens, with giblets reserved for stock (recipe follows)
- 1⁄2 lemon, sliced (optional)
- 1⁄2 onion, sliced (optional)
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened (or margarine)
Apple and Herb Stuffing
- 2 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 cooking apple, peeled, cored, and grated
- 1 cup fresh white breadcrumbs (or whole wheat, rye, etc.)
- 1 small egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 grated lemon, zest of
- salt and black pepper
- 2 teaspoons flour
- 1 1⁄4 cups giblet chicken stock or 1 1⁄4 cups vegetable stock
- Make the apple and herb stuffing: Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion, and cook gently for a few minutes, until softened.
- Remove from the heat, leave to cool slightly, then stir in the apple, bread crumbs, egg,parsley, thyme, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Leave to cool completely.
- Put the parsley and thyme sprigs into the cavity of the chicken, add the lemon and onion, if using, and season with black pepper.
- Truss the chicken if desired.
- Spoon the stuffing into the neck end of the chicken, secure the skin flap over the stuffing with a smalll skewer, and pat into a rounded shape.
- Put any leftover stuffing into a small ovenproof dish.
- Rub the softened butter over the chicken breast and season with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken, breast side down, in a roasting pan.
- Cook in a 375* oven for about 1 1/2-2 hours.
- Turn the chicken over when lightly browned.
- Continue cooking, basting every 20 minutes.
- Cook any leftover stuffing with the chicken for the last 40 minutes of cooking time.
- Test the chicken: insert a skewer into the thigh-the juices will run clear when the chicken is cooked.
- Transfer to a warmed serving platter and keep warm while you make the gravy.
- Remove the stuffing from the neck cavity and transfer to a serving dish with any leftover stuffing.
- Carve the chicken and serve with the gravy.
- Gravy: Tilt the roasting pan, and spoon off all but 1 tbls.
- of the fat that rises to the surface, leaving behind the cooking juices.
- Put the roasting pan on top of the stove.
- Add the flour and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk or metal spoon to dissolve any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the gravy thickens.
- Simmer for 2 minutes, then taste for seasoning.
- Strain into a warmed gravy boat and serve immediately.
- Giblet Stock: In a stockpot or large saucepan, cook the giblets until lightly browned.
- Stir in 1 quart water.
- Bring to a boil, skimming off any scum that forms on the surface.
- Add 1-2 quartered unpeeled onions, 1 chopped carrot, 1 chopped celery stalk, 1 bouquet garni, and a few black peppercorns.
- Simmer for about 1 hour.
- Cool, cover, and keep in the fridge for 3 days or freeze for 3 months.
- Strain before use.