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What’s cooking today: Roast chicken with a mushroom stuffing

What’s cooking today: Roast chicken with a mushroom stuffing
Tony Jackman’s air fryer roast chicken with a mushroom stuffing. Note the slightly blackened skin near the cavity. It was a momentary problem, but was easily resolved. (Photo: Tony Jackman)

It is possible to roast a stuffed chicken in an air fryer, but there are some rules.

Owning an air fryer is a journey just as all cooking is a journey, and we learn something new every day. This week I learnt about the rules that apply when stuffing a chicken, quite by chance, when I made a fundamental error. But it was easily corrected. Read more about the things that can, and do, go wrong here.

The first rule when roasting a chicken in an air fryer is to be sure the machine’s basket will hold the bird with space around it for air to flow. Some smaller air fryers are not suitable for roasting a whole bird, so make your own assessment of the machine you own and decide.

The second, and equally important, rule is that the bird, once stuffed, should not touch the element above. This is easily resolved by patting the bird, and consequently the stuffing, down before putting it in the machine. But again, this depends on the capacity of your particular machine. Mine is a 5.7-litre Instant Vortex Plus.

Finally, do not overstuff the cavity, otherwise some of the stuffing will spill out during cooking.

This recipe involves first making the stuffing, then roasting the chicken.

(Serves 2 to 4)

Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

250 g button mushrooms, sliced

3 sprigs of thyme and more for garnish

A glass of dry white wine

2 slices of day-old bread, blitzed into crumbs

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Salt and white pepper to taste

1 egg, beaten

1 medium chicken, wing tips snipped off

Salt and pepper for the bird

Stuffing, as above

Thyme butter for basting the chicken:

3 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp thyme leaves

Method

For the stuffing, cook the onion and garlic gently in a little olive oil until softened. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook on a medium heat, stirring often, until they release their juices and those juices mostly cook away. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the thyme leaves and lemon juice and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the wine and reduce until the wine has mostly cooked away.

Stir in the breadcrumbs, thoroughly. Leave it to cool, then beat an egg and stir it in.

Make sure the bird is patted thoroughly dry all over and in the cavity.

Season the chicken inside and out with salt and white pepper.

Spoon the stuffing in but do not overfill it. Using a palm, push the top of the chicken down to flatten it out a little.

Melt butter in a pan and add thyme leaves. Brush half of this on the exterior of the chicken.

Preheat the air fryer to 193℃ for 7 minutes.

Place the chicken in, skin side down. Roast at 193℃ for 15 minutes.

Turn the chicken over and push the top down again with a palm. Roast at 193℃ for another 15 minutes.

Baste with thyme butter a second time. Cover with foil and roast for another 25 minutes at the same temperature.

Allow the bird to rest. DM

Follow Tony Jackman on Instagram @tony_jackman_cooks.

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