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ULTIMATE ROAST CHICKEN WITH APRICOT & PISTACHIOS

Serves: 4 Prep Time: 20 Mins Cooking Time: 1 Hour 40 Mins

INGREDIENTS

1 Soane’s Grain fed Free Range
chicken (approx. 1.4kg)
1 lemon – cut in wedges
1 small bunch of thyme
20ml rapeseed or olive oil
20g butter
1 carrot – peeled and diced
500g Sykes House Farm farmhouse
sausage meat
75g dried apricots – chopped
2 onions – finely diced
1 tablespoon butter
Handful of shelled pistachios –
roughly chopped
1 glass dry white wine such as
Sauvignon blanc or chardonnay
3 cloves garlic – crushed
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons flour
400ml chicken stock
Sea salt and white pepper
1 teaspoon Vegemite or Marmite

METHOD

For the chicken – Remove the chicken and butter from the
refrigerator an hour before you begin cooking. Preheat oven to 190c
fan. Dice a peeled onion and a carrot and place them in a pile into
the bottom of a heavy roasting tray with a bay leaf, a clove of garlic
and a few sprigs of thyme. Take your softened butter and rub it all
over your chicken – as many nooks, crannies and crevasses as you
can find. Drizzle with oil and season liberally. Cut the lemon into
wedges and insert inside the chicken’s cavity, as well as another sprig
of thyme. Place the chicken on top of the chopped vegetables – this
will help the hot air circulate under your chicken for even cooking.
Place your chicken into the oven and roast for 1 hour and fifteen
minutes or until the chicken has reached 68c. When cooked, pull the
chicken gently out of the oven and rest on a plate somewhere warm
for at least 20 minutes. The chicken will continue to cook to a
temperature of 75-80c once rested

For the stuffing – While the chicken is roasting, gently sweat the
remaining diced onions for the stuffing until translucent and soft in
the butter. When cooked, place into a mixing bowl and cool. To the
cooled onions, add the apricots, pistachios and sausage meat. Mix
together and form into 2 large, thick sausages. Add the stuffing
‘sausages’ to the roasting tray and cook for approximately 25 minutes
or until cooked through and nicely coloured. This can be done while
the chicken is resting. When cooked, remove and cover with tinfoil
to keep warm

For the gravy – Carefully drain any cooking juices in the roasting
tray into a jug or bowl. Place the roasting tray with the vegetables
directly on a hot hob. Add your flour and cook, stirring, for a further
2-3 minutes. If it catches a little this is fine – just don’t burn it! Add
your wine and, using a wooden spoon, scrape any caramelised
residue from the bottom of your tray– this will add colour and depth
to your gravy. Add your Vegemite/Marmite. Add chicken stock and
reduce until your gravy is the desired consistency – some like it
thicker than others! Season accordingly, strain into a saucepan and
set aside.

To serve – Once rested, remove the lemons from the chicken and
carefully squeeze any remaining juice into the jug with the reserved
roasting juices. Gently tip the chicken up to drain any further juices
into the jug. Remove as much fat as possible from these juices and
add them into your gravy and reheat. Carve your chicken and place
on a large serving dish with slices of stuffing. Drizzle a little gravy
over the meat to keep moist and serve the remaining gravy in a jug
on the side. Great with proper roasties and buttery seasonal greens!

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