Chicken roasted in spiced hay with lemon stuffing

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

  • 1 chicken (1.6kg)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  •  
  • Lemon stuffing
  • 80 gm sourdough bread, crusts removed
  • 80 ml (⅓ cup) milk
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 golden shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 80 gm duck fat
  • 1 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp coarsely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • Finely grated rind of 2 lemons
  •  
  • Spiced hay
  • 250 gm unsprayed lucerne hay (see note)
  • 10 cinnamon quills
  • 10 star anise
  • 2 tbsp each fennel seeds, coriander seeds and cumin seeds
  • Thinly peeled rind of 2 lemons and 2 oranges
01   Preheat oven to 180C. For lemon stuffing, combine bread and milk in a bowl, stand until bread softens (10 seconds), drain and squeeze out excess milk (discard). Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and shallot, stir occasionally until tender (4-5 minutes), cool, then combine in a food processor with bread mixture and remaining ingredients. Season to taste, process to combine and set aside.
02   Gently separate the skin from chicken breasts with your fingers, then spoon in a little stuffing and spread evenly across breast by gently running your hand over skin to smooth out. Spoon remaining stuffing into cavity, seal with a skewer, season chicken to taste and set aside.
03   For spiced hay, combine ingredients in a large casserole with a tight-fitting lid, mix well to combine and set aside.
04   Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over. Place on top of hay mixture, cover and roast until just cooked through (1½ hours-1 hour 40 minutes). Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
05   Preheat a char-grill pan over high heat, grill lemon wedges until slightly charred and serve with hot hay-roasted chicken.
Note Lucerne hay is available from select agricultural suppliers.

This recipe is from the May 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

MATT MORAN, CHISWICK

Photography:

WILLIAM MEPPEM

Styling:

EMMA KNOWLES

Drinking Suggestion:

WINE SUGGESTION 2010 GONNET PÈRE & FILS, CÔTES DU RHÔNE VILLAGES, FRANCE. , suggested by MATTHEW DUNNE

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