Roast Chicken with Figs, Rice and Thyme Recipe

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Roast Chicken stuffed with Figs, Rice and Thyme Recipe

(An usual stuffing of sweet, moist figs, seasoned with aromatic thyme,

makes traditional roast chicken a dish for a special occasion)

Ingredients:  Serves 6, Oven: Preheated to 200C

4 lb (1.8 kg) oven-ready chicken, rinsed and well dried with kitchen paper

2 tablespoons water

Sprig of fresh thyme

Thinly pared rind of half a lemon

2 fresh figs, sprigs of thyme and parsley to garnish

 

For the Stuffing:

1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

3 level teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, or 1 level teaspoon dried thyme

4 level tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

5 oz (150 g) long-grain brown rice

6 oz (175 g) dried figs, roughly chopped

1 pints (850 ml) chicken stock

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Method:

To prepare the stuffing, put the onion, garlic, carrot, chopped or dried thyme, parsley, grated lemon rind, rice and figs into a large saucepan and pour in 1 pints (725 ml) of the stock.  Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all the stock.  Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with pepper.  Spoon about two-thirds of the rice mixture loosely inside the chicken.  Do not overfill or the chicken will not cook thoroughly.  Put the remainder of the stuffing into an overproof serving dish and stir in the remaining chicken stock.  Put on the lid, or cover with foil, and set aside.  Place the chicken on a rack in a small roasting tin and tie its legs together with clean string.  Put the water, the sprig of thyme and the thinly pared lemon rind into the tin.  Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for about 1 hour 30 minutes, until there is no trace of pink in the juice that seeps out when you push a fork into the thickest part of the thigh.  During cooking, baste the chicken frequently with the juices that collect in the roasting tin.  Put the reserved stuffing into the oven for the last 30 minutes of cooking to heat thoroughly.  Lift the cooked chicken onto a warmed serving plate.  Cover it loosely with foil and leave to rest for 10 - 15 minutes.  Skim all the fat from the roasting tin, then reheat the cooking juices and strain through a sieve into a warmed serving jug.  Garnish the chicken with wedges of fresh fig and the sprigs of thyme and parsley just before serving.  Carve the chicken at the table, giving each diner some breast meat and leg meat and stuffing from inside the bird.  Leave the diners to remove the chicken skin themselves.  Hand round the sauce and extra stuffing separately and serve with a crisp green salad and some hot crusty rolls.

 

Note:  Use a potato peeler to pare off the lemon rind very thinly.  It is easier to pare half the rind from a whole lemon than to grasp and pare a cut lemon.

 

Nutrient Value Per Serving:

330 calories

7 g total fat (2 g saturated fat)

39 g carbohydrates

4 g fiber

130 mg sodium

 

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