Roast Chicken with Pear, Pistachio + Cranberry Stuffing
Roasted chicken was always part of my Christmas meal when I was growing up. I try to continue the family tradition with this simple farm style meal that my great Aunt used to prepare every year. The chicken was free range and raised in her back yard on grass and vegetable scraps from the garden. The stuffing was made with pear, pistachio and cranberry or at other times apple, prunes and hazelnut. What I love is that the stuffing is so moist and full of great tasty flavours that explode in your mouth. I like to serve this with my cinnamon roasted sweet potato, green beans and a simple garden salad.
What’s good about it:
Chicken is a great source of protein, containing all the essential amino acids needed to repair and sustain lean muscle. A good protein intake can help support hormone production such as GH, testosterone and thyroid that can be suppressed by ageing, stress and poor diet. Hormones such as testosterone help boost lean muscle mass and bone mass as well help in reducing body fat.
Pear, Pistachio + Cranberry Stuffing
1 onion, finely chopped
1 pear, finely diced
50 g pistachio nuts, chopped
50 g dried cranberries or cherries
small bunch parsley, chopped
few sprigs of fresh thyme
1.6 kg whole free range or organic chicken
1 cup apple or pear cider
Preheat oven to 200 C.
Caramelise the onion in a little olive oil until golden then add the pear.
Cook for 10 minutes until golden and pear is soft.
Combine into a bowl with the pistachio, cranberry, thyme , parsley, lemon zest, a little lemon juice.
Stuff this into the cavity of the chicken.
Rub in a little olive oil over the whole chicken and sprinkle with a little sea salt and white pepper.
Place chicken in a shallow baking tray or cast iron pan
Roast for 40 minutes then pour over 1 cup apple or pear cider.
Roast for another 20 – 30 minutes – the chicken should be golden and cooked through. You can check by inserting a knife in the thickest part of the thigh – if the juices are a little pink, roast for another 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, strain the pan juices and cover loosely with foil.
Rest the chicken for 10 minutes whilst you make the jus / gravy.
Skim off any surface fat from the pan juices and pour into a small pot.
Add 1 cup of chicken stock and warm through. You can thicken the jus by reducing for a minute or so.
Serve and enjoy with leafy greens, vegetables and fresh lemon wedges.
NUTRITIONAL INFO PER SERVE
Total fat: 14 g
Saturated: 3 g
Carbs: 14 g
Fiber: 3 g
Sugars: 9 g
For nut allergies, use cooked quinoa or brown rice in place of pistachio.
For those who want turkey this Christmas, A 6 kg turkey will take about 4 – 4 1/2 hours to cook in a low 160 C oven. Baste every 30 minutes. Cover bits like the legs with foil if necessary. Triple the stuffing recipe – make your gravy separately using proper chicken or turkey stock and enjoy.