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'bills open kitchen' by Bill Granger

Serves 4


    • 6 thick slices good-quality bread (I like wholemeal)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 155 g (1 cup) roughly chopped onion
    • 80 g (1/2 cup) chopped pancetta, bacon or prosciutto
    • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
    • 1 tablespoon chopped sage or thyme leaves
    • 7 g (1/4 cup) roughly chopped parsley
    • sea salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 x 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) free-range chicken
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil, extra

    • roast vegetables (below)
    • green salad (optional)


Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F). Tear the bread roughly and place in a food processor and process until large breadcrumbs form. Place in a large bowl.

Place a frying pan over a medium heat. Put the olive oil in the pan, heat and add the onion.
Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pancetta and cook for another 3 minutes.
Remove the onion and pancetta and place in the bowl of breadcrumbs. Add the zest, sage, parsley, salt, pepper and egg and mix well to combine.

Wash the chicken and dry inside and out with paper towels. Fill the cavity with the stuffing mixture, then truss the chicken with kitchen string. Rub lightly with olive oil then season with salt and pepper.

Place the chicken in the oven, breast-side up, and cook for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 180°C (350°) and cook for another hour, or until the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the leg. Remove from the oven, loosely cover with foil and rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with a green salad, if desired, and the roasted vegetables.

• 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) pumpkin, potato and sweet potato, cut into chunks
• 2 red onions, peeled and quartered
• 60 ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
• sea salt
• freshly ground black pepper

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine. Put in a baking dish, spreading the vegetables evenly, and bake at the same time as the chicken. Leave in the oven while the chicken is resting.


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