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Method1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.
2. For the stuffing Melt the butter in a saucepan with the olive oil, then the onion, bacon and garlic, cover with a butter wrapper or a piece of greaseproof paper, cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 8–10 minutes or until the onions are soft but not browned. Take off the heat stir in the herbs and breadcrumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper and leave to cool.
3. Spoon the cooled stuffing into the chicken cavity and place the chicken in a roasting tin. Smear the butter over the skin and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 1½ - 1¾ hours (allowing about 20 minutes per 450g), basting occasionally, until cooked through. If the skin begins to look dark cover the chicken with some foil or parchment paper.
4. The chicken will be cooked when the legs feel quite loose on the bird. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate and leave to rest, covered with foil.
5. For the tarragon sauce Place the tin on a medium heat and deglaze with a little of the stock, stirring with a wooden spoon and scraping any sticky bits from the bottom of the tin.
6. Drain off the fat using a separating jug or, if you don’t have one, pour the liquid into a bowl and add a handful of ice cubes. After a few minutes the fat will float to the surface. Remove and discard the fat, pour the remaining liquid into a saucepan with the remaining chicken stock on a medium heat.
7. Bring the stock to a simmer, whisk in the cream and tarragon 3–4 minutes, uncovered, stirring regularly, until reduced and thickened.
8. Spoon the stuffing out of the chicken onto a plate. Carve the chicken and serve with the stuffing, sauce and some garlic roast potatoes.
Apdapted from Rachel Allen Home Cooking (Collins)
- 1 chicken, (1.5 - 2.25kg)
- 15 g softened butter
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the stuffing
- 25 g butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 50 g diced bacon or pancetta
- 1 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp chopped parsley and thyme
- 100 g white breadcrumbs
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the tarragon cream sauce
- 600 ml chicken stock
- 100 ml double cream
- 2 tbsp chopped tarragon