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Chicken Stuffed with Fruit and Nuts

ingredients

serves 6
1.5 kg (3 1/2 lb) oven-ready chicken
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 medium onions, peeled
2 slices (50 g) 1 oz crustless Granary bread, finely crumbled
100 g (4 oz) butter
1 large cooking apple, peeled and cored
75 g (3 oz) apricots, coarsely chopped
75 g (3 oz) prunes, stoned and coarsely chopped
25 g (1 oz) roasted almonds, roughly chopped
25 g (1 oz) roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
25 g (1 oz) pine nuts
15 g (1 tbsp) raisins
225 ml (1/2 pt) good chicken stock
7 g (1 tbsp) fresh thyme

method

1. Wipe the chicken inside and out and season inside.

2. Quarter one of the onions and put in a roasting pan.

3. Grate or grind the bread to form fine crumbs.

4. Set aside. Finely chop the other onion. Heat half the butter in a frying pan and slowly cook the onion until soft and golden.

5. Add the apple, apricots and prunes to the onion and fry for 1 minute.

6. Then add the chopped almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts and raisins to the pan.

7. Take the pan off the heat and mix in the breadcrumbs.

8. Add 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the stock and season with salt and pepper.

9. Cool, then use to stuff the chicken. Stand the chicken on the onion in the roasting pan. Rub with the remaining butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper and the thyme.

10. Roast at a temperature of 200°C (400°F) Gas 6 in a preheated oven for about 1 1/4 hours, basting frequently.

11. Remove the cooked chicken to a warmed serving dish, and keep warm.

12. Add the stock to the pan, and bring to the boil on top of the stove, stirring to dislodge all the meat juices.

13. Skim off any fat. Boil the gravy till reduced by a third. Season to taste, then strain and serve.

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