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What’s cooking today: Chicken crown roast, stuffed an...

TGIFOOD

STUFF IT

What’s cooking today: Chicken crown roast, stuffed and trussed 

Tony Jackman’s chicken crown roast stuffed and trussed. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

A crown of chicken is the entire double breast portion which has been carefully deboned, but with the skin intact. It is then stuffed and trussed with kitchen string. 

Here’s a variation on the traditional sage and onion stuffing but using orange as the chief aromatic to balance the herb. It’s based on a mirepoix of carrot, onion and celery, with wine, sage, orange and finished with breadcrumbs. This recipe pairs well with this column.

Sage and orange stuffing

Ingredients

1 onion, finely chopped 

1 carrot, diced

1 leek, sliced thinly 

1 small celery stalk, diced 

3 Tbsp butter 

1 glass of dry white wine 

2 Tbsp chopped sage leaves 

Zest and juice of 1 orange 

1 cup breadcrumbs 

Salt to taste 

Black pepper to taste 

1 beaten egg (optional) 

1 large chicken, cleaned and dried, wing tips removed 

Method 

For the stuffing, melt the butter and sauté the onion with the carrot, celery, leeks and sage, stirring, until softened. Add the wine and cook it almost entirely away. Add the orange juice and zest and simmer, stirring, until the mixture is a bit sticky. Stir in the breadcrumbs off the heat and season with salt and pepper. I felt this stuffing did not need egg, but if you want to use one to bind it, let the mixture cool down before stirring it in. 

Cut away the leg-and-thigh portions and wings and remove the parson’s nose. Put these aside for another meal. Snip out the “wish bone” too.

You’re left with the carcass and both breasts. That’s the crown. But it still has the rib cage and keel bone. Now comes the tricky part. Bear this in mind before you begin to debone it: your goal is for the crown to be intact, with the rib cage and keel bone gone but the breasts and their skin intact, in one piece, “hinged” in the middle. This is not as difficult to achieve as you might think if you’ve never tried to do it. 

I use a paring knife, or a boning knife. It needs to be sharp. Cut in right against the bone cage towards the middle (below the breast and against the bone), slowly and carefully. Once both breasts are loosened but still covered with their skin, work the knife in small push-and-pull movements to disconnect the remaining part of the bone while leaving the skin intact at the centre. 

Place it skin side down on a clean board, season the inside with salt and pepper, and spoon in some of the stuffing (not too much or it will spill out when you tie it). The remainder can go into ramekin/s to be cooked in the oven alongside the chicken. 

Push strands of kitchen string under in four or five places and tie in the centre. Place another piece of string under it lengthwise and tie it up. You have a chicken parcel. 

Brush olive oil all over the skin and season with salt and pepper. 

Roast the crown of chicken in a preheated 180oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving. DM/TGIFood

Tony Jackman is Galliova Food Champion 2021. His book, foodSTUFF, is available in the DM Shop. Buy it here

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks. Share your versions of his recipes with him on Instagram and he’ll see them and respond.

SUBSCRIBE to TGIFood here. Also visit the TGIFood platform, a repository of all of our food writing.

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