I have never much liked the idea of stuffing. The very word brings to mind a food that is stodgy, thick, starchy and dry. However, having seen an idea by Gordon Ramsay on his series of Christmas Programmes of cooking chickpeas within a roasted chicken, I had to give this a try.
Here is our version. It makes for a light Sunday lunch – we did allow ourselves a small helping of roasties, but the Chickpeas with their protein and complex carbs keep you feeling fuller and less starch-laden than the usual Sunday fare.
Essentially you stuff the chicken cavity with a can of chickpeas (we seasoned ours with cumin and garam masala), plug it in with half a lemon and roast the bird perched on some halved garlic.
You will be rewarded by a gorgeous synergy between the bird and its filling. Chicken tender and moist, picking up some of the spice from the chickpeas, the lemon helping to keep the meat tender. The chickpeas infused with flavour from the roasting juices and further enhanced by adding the puree of garlic and juice from the roasted lemon.
- Free Range Chicken
- 1 can Chickpeas
- Half a Lemon
- 1 bulb of garlic cut into half across
- quarter teaspoon Cumin
- quarter teaspoon Garam Masala
- pinch of Chilli Flakes
- Salt and Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 170DegC
- Season the Chicken with Salt and Pepper
- Drain the chickpeas and pour into a bowl and stir in the cumin and garam masala
- Use a tablespoon to transfer the chickpeas into the chicken cavity
- Push the lemon (cut side facing into the cavity) to plug the cavity
- Place the garlic cut side downwards into a large roasting dish
- Lay the chicken in the dish over the garlic
- Roast for 1.5 hours until the meat is fully cooked (this time may be a little more or less depending on the weight of the chicken, the safest way is to use a meat thermometer).
- Once cooked, put the chicken onto a board to rest, and remove the chickpeas into the bowl
- Add a tablespoon of the roasting juices and use a sieve to pass the juice of roasted lemon and garlic into the chickpeas.
- Stir through and add salt, pepper and chilli flakes to spice it up
- Serve by laying chicken pieces on the chickpeas.
- Garnish with vegetables or some rocket