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Beer-braised chicken with bacon, prune & thyme stuffing
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Serves: 4 - 6
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small Waitrose Duchy Organic Onion, finely chopped
3 rashers Waitrose Duchy Organic British Back Bacon, snipped into pieces
100g fresh white breadcrumbs, from a Waitrose Duchy Organic White Batch Loaf
75g stoned organic soft prunes, chopped
Grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 large Waitrose Duchy Organic British Blacktail Free Range Egg, beaten
1 Waitrose Duchy Organic Whole British Chicken, about 1.5kg
300ml Waitrose Duchy Organic India Pale Ale
3 tbsp Waitrose Duchy Organic Beetroot Relish
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Heat half the oil in a small frying pan and cook the onion and bacon for 3-5 minutes until softened but not browned. Place the breadcrumbs, prunes, lemon zest, thyme and some seasoning in a mixing bowl. Add the contents of the frying pan to the bowl, followed by the beaten egg, and mix well to form the stuffing.
2. Carefully ease the skin away from the breast of the chicken all the way down to the legs. Push the stuffing in to cover the breast and stretch the skin back over it. If you tear the skin, mask the area with a piece of bacon to keep the chicken flesh moist while cooking.
3. Heat the remaining oil in a large flameproof casserole and carefully brown the chicken on all sides. Add the beer and beetroot relish to the pan, cover tightly with a lid and cook in the oven for 1 hour, basting regularly. Then uncover the pan and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until the chicken juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a skewer. Leave to rest for 5 minutes, then carve. Spoon the excess oil from the pan juices, then strain the juices into a jug to serve as a gravy with the chicken.
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