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2.3kg Essential Extra Large British Chicken
15g butter, at room temperature
100ml dry vermouth
1 shallot, finely chopped
500ml chicken stock
For the stuffing
20g butter, plus extra for greasing and dotting
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped (plus any celery leaves you can find, chopped)
2 clove/s garlic, crushed, to taste
100g bag watercress
175g Cooks' Ingredients Soft White Breadcrumbs
1/2 x 25g pack flat leaf parsley, leaves finely chopped
1 unwaxed lemon, finely grated zest of all, juice of ½
1 British Blacktail Free Range Medium Egg, beaten
Take the chicken out of the fridge, remove
the wrapping and put it in a roasting tin.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC, gas mark 6.
Make the stuffing. Melt the 20g butter in a
sauté pan and gently fry the onion and celery
for 4-5 minutes, until soft but not coloured.
Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
Remove the coarse stalks from 80g of the
watercress – use them for soup – and roughly
chop the leaves. Add to the pan and heat until
the watercress has wilted. Put in a big bowl and
leave to cool. Add the remaining ingredients,
mix together and season generously.
Remove any fat from around the small neck
cavity of the chicken, then fill with a small
handful of the stuffing, being careful not to
overfill it. Return the skin to seal in the stuffing,
then secure with a cocktail stick if needed.
Spoon the remaining stuffing into a buttered
ovenproof dish (about 25x15cm) and dot the
top with a little butter. Cover and chill until
ready to cook.
Spread the 15g butter over the chicken
breast and legs. Season well. Roast for 1 hour,
then lower the heat to 180ºC, gas mark 4 and
cook for 45 minutes more, putting the dish of
stuffing into the oven and cooking it for the
final 30 minutes. The chicken is ready when
you pierce the skin between the leg and the
body, and the juices run clear, with no pink
meat. The stuffing should be piping hot and
golden. Transfer the bird to a large warm plate,
cover with foil and insulate with tea towels.
Leave it to rest for 15 minutes. Keep the
stuffing warm too.
Meanwhile, set the roasting tin on the hob
and add the vermouth, stirring to scrape up
everything on the base, and boil for a few
minutes. Transfer to a glass jug. Throw some
ice cubes in to send the fat to the top. Lift off
any fat you can see and keep it.
Sauté the shallot in some of the chicken
fat in a medium saucepan, until soft but not
coloured. Add the juices from the chicken and
the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, then turn
down to a simmer and reduce until you like the
flavour – don’t think about the thickness, just
the flavour. Strain and transfer to a warm jug.
Unwrap the chicken. Add the remaining
clump of watercress to the plate and serve with
the stuffing, gravy and vegetables.
Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe
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