Easter Roast Chicken

Here I am again…empty headed. I’m not lasing ha or whatever but I really have nothing to write about me and my family at the moment. Simply because walang bagong pangyayari. I’m only busy completing my PINAY-EXPATS PORTAL site. There’s nothing new to mention here, what I did was just transfering all the files manually onto my new server.

Anyways, since it’s easter time I would like to contribute a recipe for this occassion. Makikigaya na rin sa ako sa ibang bloggers for a change.

roast chicken

Traditional Roast Chicken
With Apple, Sage and Onion Stuffing, Cranberry and Sage Sauce and Chicken-giblet Gravy


For the roast chicken:

1 x 5-6 lb (2.25-2.7 kg) Traditional Free Range chicken
2 oz (50 g) butter, at room temperature
8 rashers traditionally cured smoked streaky bacon
salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the apple, sage and onion stuffing:

1 dessert apple, cored and quartered
1 heaped tablespoon fresh sage leaves
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
4 oz (110 g) fresh white bread, crusts removed
1 tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
reserved chicken livers from the giblets
8 oz (225 g) minced pork or good-quality pork sausage meat (I often use skinned sausages)
1/4 teaspoon ground mace
salt and freshly milled black pepper

For the cranberry and sage sauce:

6 level tablespoons Ocean Spray cranberry jelly
2 dessertspoons chopped fresh sage
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
a few fresh parsley stalks
salt and freshly grind black pepper

For the chicken-giblet gravy:

8 oz (225 g) frozen chicken giblets (reserving the livers for the stuffing), thoroughly defrosted
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
1/2 onion
sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 rounded tablespoons plain flour
salt and freshly milled black pepper

*You will also need a flameproof roasting tin measuring 10 x 14 inches (25.5 x 35 cm), 2 inches (5 cm) deep.

Apple, Sage and Onion Stuffing

If you have a food processor, making stuffing is a doddle: all you do is switch the motor on, add the pieces of bread and process to crumbs, then add the parsley, sage, apple and onion quarters and process till everything is finely chopped. Next trim any sinewy bits from the chicken livers, rinse under cold water, pat them dry, then add them, together with the sausage meat, mace and seasoning. Give a few pulses in the processor until it is all thoroughly blended, remove the stuffing from the processor with a spatula, then place in a polythene bag and store in the fridge until it is required. If you’re doing this by hand, just finely chop all the ingredients, combine in a bowl and refrigerate as above.

Roast Chicken

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375°F (190°C).

First of all the chicken needs to be stuffed, and to do this you begin at the neck end, where you’ll find a flap of loose skin: gently loosen this away from the breast and you’ll be able to make a triangular pocket. Pack about two-thirds of the stuffing inside, as far as you can go, and make a neat round shape on the outside, then tuck the neck flap under the bird’s back and secure it with a small skewer or cocktail stick. Take the remaining stuffing and place it in the body cavity (the fat in the pork will melt and help to keep the bird moist inside). Now place the chicken in the roasting tin and smear the butter over the chicken using your hands and making sure you don’t leave any part of the surface unbuttered.

Season the chicken all over with salt and black pepper, then arrange 7 slices of the bacon, slightly overlapping, in a row along the breast. Cut the last rasher in half and place one piece on each leg. I like to leave the rind on the bacon for extra flavour, but you can remove it if you prefer.

Place the chicken in the oven on the centre shelf and cook for 20 minutes per lb (450 g), plus 10-20 minutes extra – this will be 1 hour and 50 minutes to 2 hours for a 5 lb (2.25 kg) bird, or 2 hours 10 minutes to 2 hours 20 minutes for a 6 lb (2.7 kg) bird. The chicken is cooked if the juices run clear when the thickest part of the leg is pierced with a skewer. It is important to baste the chicken at least 3 times during the cooking – spooning over the juices mingling with the bacon fat and butter helps to keep the flesh succulent.

During the last basting (about half an hour before the chicken is cooked), remove the now-crisp bacon slices and keep them warm. If they are not crisp, just leave them around the chicken to finish off. For the final 15
minutes of cooking, hike the heat up to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C), which will give the skin that final golden crispiness.

When the chicken is cooked it is important to leave it in the warm kitchen (near the oven), covered in foil, for 30 minutes, which will allow it to relax. This is because when the chicken is cooking all the juices bubble up to the surface (if you look inside the oven you will actually see this happening just under the skin), and what relaxing does is allow time for all these precious juices to seep back into the flesh. It also makes it much easier to carve. When you serve the chicken, make sure everyone gets some crispy bacon and stuffing. Serve with the Chicken Giblet Gravy and Cranberry and Sage Sauce.

For the Chicken-Giblet Gravy

Simply place the giblets, 11/2 pints (850 ml) water, carrot, onion, herbs, peppercorns and salt in a medium-sized saucepan and simmer very gently with the lid almost on for 2 hours. Then strain this stock into a jug and cool and chill in the fridge. Any fat on the surface is easily removed when cold. To make the gravy, after removing the chicken from the roasting tin, tilt the tin and remove most of the fat, which you will see separates quite clearly from the juices – you need to leave about 2 tablespoons of fat behind. Now place the roasting tin over direct heat turned to fairly low, and when the juices begin to sizzle, sprinkle in the plain flour, stirring vigorously till you get a smooth paste, then add the giblet stock, little by little, exchanging the wooden spoon for a whisk. Whisk thoroughly until all the stock is incorporated, bring the whole lot up to simmering point, then taste and season with salt and freshly milled black pepper.

For the Cranberry and Sage Sauce

All you do here is combine everything in a small saucepan and whisk over a gentle heat until the cranberry jelly has melted. Then pour the sauce into a serving jug and leave till needed (it doesn’t need re-heating – it’s served at room temperature). Although I love to serve this sauce in summer, in winter my favorite accompaniment is Traditional Bread Sauce.


Beng Hafner is my name. I am proud to be who I am and I am proud of the way I am. I am alive because I have a lot to live for. I have many dreams that I wish to reach for and I have many journeys to make.

My life is like a soap opera, and you are the audience.


  • how are you dear? chicken looks good! tita beng, babalikan ko recipe, silip lang for now…btw, how are you going to spend easter?

    (i’ll email you too, may icons na cb box ko…or if we can do it real time via YM, just add my email addy)

  • aliw!! ha ha ha, para tayong mga bata ano? these grins are cute!!…i love this—>:-[

    project ko? yung site pa rin ng asawa ko, naghihintay pa ako ng materials nila, at long list ng blogskins for blogger friends…sana nga madami akong time talaga:$..ikaw kumusta na project mo? taking shape?

    mama beng, grabe! ang dami ko gustong ilagay ng plugins, penge naman oras oh :(..hmmm ok kaya bakasyon muna tayo ni Stel (ip), whatdyathink?

  • :-> kakaaliw nga. buti ka may time mag bloghop ako medyo wala pa dahil mukhang ngayon palang naging normal ang routine ng aking buhay. magmula ng ako ay dumating laging may okasyon o bisita. buti na lang tapos na ang easter vacation at umuwi na rin ang mga anak ni gerd. ito naiwan ako ng sangkatutak na labahin at kailangan ko ulit mag general cleaning.

    anyways, ang priority project ko ngayon ay ang corporate template na order sa akin. haaay, wala ako gana :S dahil itong aking pc (co) ay nagluluko. buti na lang ibibili ako ng darling ng bago, next week pa i-deliver. kaya aantayin ko na lang muna.

    saan niyo bang dalawa ni Stel balak magbakasyon (ap) hmmm, sarap sanang sumama kaya lang kababalik ko pa lang galing atin :-(.

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Beng Hafner is my name. I am proud to be who I am and I am proud of the way I am. I am alive because I have a lot to live for. I have many dreams that I wish to reach for and I have many journeys to make.

My life is like a soap opera, and you are the audience.

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