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Spanish stuffed chicken

Make a gravy to serve with the hot chicken: pour off most of the fat in the tin, leaving about 2 tablespoons of sediment. Stir in 2 teaspoons plain flour and cook over gentle heat for 1 - 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually blend in 300 ml (1/2 pint) hot chicken stock. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Strain into a warmed sauceboat.

ingredients

serves 4 - 6
1.5 kg (3 - 3 1/2 lb) roasting chicken
vegetable oil, for brushing

stuffing

25 g (1 oz) margarine or butter
1 small onion, chopped
50 g (2 oz) soft white breadcrumbs
25 g (1 oz) blanched almonds, chopped
1 canned red pimiento, chopped
8 green olives, stoned and quartered
1 large tomato, skinned and chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

method

1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

2. Make the stuffing: melt the margarine in a frying-pan, add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes until soft and lightly coloured. Remove the pan from the heat.

3. Add the remaining stuffing ingredients to the pan and mix well.

4. Wash the chicken and pat dry with absorbent paper. Using a small sharp knife, remove the wishbone
from the neck end of the chicken by cutting away the flesh around it. Break off the bone at the joints and lift it out.

5. Fill the neck cavity with the stuffing, fold the neck skin back into position, then fold the wing tips over it. Secure with a metal skewer. Carefully truss the drumsticks with string, if necessary.

6. Lightly oil a roasting tin. Place the chicken in the tin, brush with oil and season with salt and pepper.

7. Roast the chicken in the oven for 1 1/2 hours until cooked (the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer). Remove skewer and any string and, if serving hot, transfer to a warmed serving dish.

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