Best stuffing recipe for chicken, turkey or game: Pork, cider soaked raisins and pine nutsPosted by Fiona Nevile in Basics, Chicken | 5 comments
The Chicken Out Campaign is working. Masses of people are avoiding the cheap intensively farmed supermarket chickens and visiting their local butchers to find free range birds.
When I went in to see Fred Fitzpatrick (Exning Road, Newmarket - now retired) on Saturday I had a small chicken on my shopping list.
"I'm sorry Fiona but we've sold out of those."
"How about a medium one?"
"Have you got any chickens at all?"
A small chicken from Fred is much cheaper than the equivalent free range supermarket fowl. And Fred's chickens have a magical quality. The small chicken looks diminutive within the confines of his shop. When I get the bird home it always seems to have grown on the short trip back and easily feeds four hungry people with leftovers.
Fred bustled into the back or the shop and disappeared into the walk in fridge. He buys from an excellent supplier who does not deal with supermarkets. The chickens are described by Fred as "Happy chickens." They are the best chickens that I have ever tasted. Firm and succulent. And not too expensive.
Fred backed out of the walk in freezer and called to me over his shoulder.
"Offer me X quid without looking and the bird is yours!"
I accepted immediately. I tottered back to Jalopy with a giant bird the size of a small turkey. Fred is generous to his regular customers.
Danny was delighted when I heaved the bag onto the kitchen table.
"Let's make this giant roast chicken meal superb. Why don't we use up the sausage meat left over from Christmas and make stuffing?"
He was searching the freezer in an instant.
I am now working for my friend Clare. She had mentioned a superb chicken pasta dish with raisins and pine kernels. Now was the time to test out the combination. A free range roast chicken deserves to be pampered
Danny was dubious until the first forkful.
Pork, cider soaked raisins and pine nut stuffing recipe for chicken, turkey or game
These quantities are to fill a very large chicken or small turkey. For a medium sized chicken halve the ingredients.
- 400g of pork sausage meat
- 100g of plumpish raisins (I used flame raisins)
- Cider (or dry white wine) to cover the raisins
- 50g of pine nuts
- 100g of fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 tblsp of fresh chopped parsley
- 1 medium egg
- Freshly ground salt and pepper
- In a saucepan cover the raisins with cider and bring to simmering point leave for at least five hours to let the raisins absorb the cider and puff up.
- Meanwhile roast or toast the pine nuts under your grill/in your frying pan until they are golden.
- Make your breadcrumbs (grater or food processor).
- Discard the parsley stalks and chop the leaves fine.
- Combine pine nuts, beaten egg, breadcrumbs, parsley and salt and pepper using a fork. Stir in the raisins gently and fill the cavity of your bird. Lock the opening with a cocktail stick and roast following the appropriate timings for your bird.
N.B. The stuffing does not work cooked in an open pan in the oven beside your bird as the raisins will burn.
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