The Big Issue : Edition 562
THEBIGISSUE.ORG.AU 18–31 MAY 2018 23 PHOTOSBYDRAGANRADOCAJ Perfect Roast Chicken with Hazelnut & Herb Stuffing Method Preheat a fan-forced oven to 180°C. To prepare the stuffing, place the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for 6-8 minutes or until golden, checking them frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Immediately wrap in a clean tea towel and rub to remove the skins. Shake the hazelnuts in a sieve to get rid of the skins, then set aside to cool. Once cool, roughly chop. Increase oven temperature to 200°C. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat, then add the bacon and cook for 1 minute, tossing occasionally. Transfer to a plate and roughly chop when cooled. Add the chicken livers to the pan and cook for 30 to 45 seconds on each side or until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and leave to rest for 5 minutes, then remove and discard any sinew and chop into small chunks. Wipe out the pan, pour in the oil and place over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add the rosemary and thyme and cook for a minute, then transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in the garlic, breadcrumbs, cherries and chopped hazelnuts, mixing well, then add the liver and bacon and gently stir to just combine. Add some extra oil if necessary to bind the mixture, then set aside to cool. Wipe the skin of the chicken and clean the inside cavity with paper towel. Squeeze a generous amount of lemon juice into the cavity, then fill it with the cooled stuffing. Rub the chicken all over with half the olive oil and the salt. Place a trivet or a wire rack in a shallow roasting pan. Fold the wing tips under the bird and place on the rack, breast-side up. Cover the breast loosely with foil to prevent it drying out, then place into the oven and roast for 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and remove the foil. Brush the breast with the remaining oil and drizzle over 80ml of verjuice. Add a little water to the pan to prevent the verjuice from burning. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C, then return the chicken to the oven and cook for a further 30 minutes. Check by inserting a skewer through the thickest part of the thigh joint to make sure the juices run clear. If there are any signs of pinkness, return the chicken to the oven. Just be careful not to overcook it, as it will continue to cook during the resting time. Remove from the oven and turn it over in the pan so it’s sitting breast- side down. Leave it to rest in the roasting juices, covered loosely with foil, for at least 20 minutes before carving. While the bird is resting, use a spoon to skim away the fat from the pan. Pour the remaining juices through a small fine-meshed sieve into a small saucepan and warm over low heat, adding the remaining verjuice to taste. Simmer over low heat for a few minutes to reduce and thicken, then transfer the gravy to a jug. Serve on a large plate accompanied by a bowl of roasted vegetables and the gravy. Maggie Beer’s Maggie says... I grew up in Sydney and have some wonderful food memories from the time I spent in the kitchen with my father. He was a great cook and was obsessive about freshness and quality. As a child I learned so much without realising it. Even when there were really tough times financially in our family, quality of food never suffered. When I think of the recipe that reminds me of home growing up, I think back to a memory from when I was three or four years old when we lived at Rose Bay, just up the road from the flying boat squadron. There had been a huge storm buffeting the shore, then a blackout. Mum had candles burning within minutes as we huddled around the small kitchen table and she served us golden syrup dumplings. Was it the smell, the taste, the feeling of safety? As my first food memory, just talking about it makes my whole body smile. But it was the luck of coming to live in the Barossa Valley that really marked the start of a very personal food journey for me. Being in the Valley and surrounded by ever-changing seasonal produce has always been my greatest inspiration. Having at my fingertips such a rich diversity of produce from this Mediterranean climate has led me to become a simple country cook, doing little more than relating to the ingredients I have at hand. The recipe that says home to me is without a doubt my roast chook – a dish that has been encouraged by our family’s requests more than anything I’ve specifically set out to master. I use one of my daughter Saskia’s Barossa chooks; preferably the super-sized ones that are too large for most, served with a traditional stuffing with lots of liver, onions and herbs. Teamed with seasonal roasted vegetables from the garden and a jus, this meal has been the centrepiece for countless family dinners filled with great conversation, reminiscing and laughter (following the inevitable fight over the breast and leg meat). Food for the soul as well as food for the stomach! In my mind, it is also one of the easiest options for any busy cook. » Maggie’s latest cookbook, Maggie’s Recipe for Life, is out now.