Week before last Saturday I went and bought a tiny free range chicken for this purpose. I say tiny, because the butcher gave me a choice between that and a farmed one that was twice the size. Generally their free range stuff is good and also getting too big a chicken would be too much for the two of us. Sadly the chicken had to go in the freezer on Monday as we were so very busy throughout the whole week. But then came Friday and Lundulph started preparations.
One thing about making roast chicken as far away from Christmas as you can get is that there's no ready made stuffing in the house. I'm not particularly keen on mince meat within a chicken either, so we decided to try a Bulgarian style stuffing with rice, onions, mushrooms and herbs. This turned out very successful, so I'd like to share it. Lundulph was good and measured up everything and wrote it down.
170 g pudding rice
2 medium sized onions
1 tbsp grape seed oil
1 400g tin of button mushrooms
3 cubes Oxo chicken stock in 400 ml boiling water
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp dried savory
1 tbsp fresh thyme
0.5 tsp salt
0.5 tsp sugar
- Rinse the rice and drain.
- Peel and dice the onions. Drain the mushrooms and dice as well.
- Heat up the oil on medium heat and fry the onion until translucent.
- Add the rice and stir to get it coated with the oil. Fry for a couple of minutes. In the mean time make the stock.
- Add the mushrooms and fry for a few minutes as well.
- Add the stock and bring to a slow simmer. Then peel and press in the garlic.
- Add the herbs, salt and sugar and let simmer until the rice takes up all liquid.
- Stuff the chicken.
Lundulph forgot to add black pepper to the above, but it tasted very nice indeed. He'd also covered the chicken with bacon and made some lovely crunchy roast potatoes and steamed sugar snaps.
The whole chicken set-up had released enough juices to make a very good, thick gravy with bits of bacon in it too.
The chicken still lasted us three days, despite its tininess. The stuffing was wonderfully fragrant from the thyme and savory and would have been enough for a larger chicken for sure. And the fox family worked their way through the rubbish sack and had some of the bones, so they must have liked it as well, even though cooked bones shouldn't be given to wild animals as they tend to be brittle and might splinter inside their tummies and hurt them. But maybe they are used to it nowadays.