More than 1 hour
- Glug olive oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 punnet (250g) white button mushrooms, finely chopped
- ½ ciabatta, finely torn (or use blitzed or grated stale bread)
- Handful fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 (about 1.2kg) free-range whole chicken, giblets removed
- 2 red onions, halved
- 2 bulbs garlic, halved
- Handful each fresh sage and thyme
- ¼ cup (60ml) soft butter
- Salt and milled pepper
- 1 punnet (200g) exotic mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
- Heat oil in a large pan and fry onion, garlic and thyme for 5 minutes or until golden.
- Add button mushrooms and cook for 5-8 minutes until soft.
- Add ciabatta and parsley and cook for another 2-3 minutes, remove from heat and cool completely.
- Add egg to cooled stuffing mixture.
- Loosen the skin of the chicken by running your finger under the edge of the skin at the bottom of the breast. (Take care not to tear the skin.)
- Spread mushroom stuffing underneath the skin to cover the entire breast. (Stuffing the skin of the legs is optional.)
- Use the leftover stuffing to fill the chicken cavity.
- Preheat oven to 200°C.
- Arrange halved onions, garlic bulbs and herbs in a deep roasting pan.
- Melt half the butter to use for basting and rub the rest over the chicken.
- Add chicken to roasting pan. Season well.
- Roast for 60-80 minutes, basting regularly with melted butter. (If using exotic mushrooms, add to the pan 10 minutes before the end of cooking time.)
- Serve chicken on a platter with roasted onions, garlic and mushrooms, drizzled with pan juices (or make a quick gravy).
To make a quick gravy, remove chicken from roasting dish and pour all the remaining juices and pan scrapings into a saucepan. Add 1 cup of water and simmer for a few minutes. Thicken with cornflour and add a generous knob of butter. Don’t forget to season your gravy with salt, pepper and lemon juice before serving!