© Julie Renouf
Millet-stuffed roast chicken
A great gluten-free alternative to a bread-crumb stuffing
Millet works wonderfully as a stuffing because it absorbs the flavours and juices from the chicken. It is also a gluten-free alternative to a traditional breadcrumb stuffing. Using millet in a stuffing is a great way to introduce it to people — they won’t know it’s in there, but will enjoy the flavour.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes
3 tbsp. (45 ml) olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
5 oz. (140 g) sliced uncooked bacon (about 3 slices, see tips), rind removed, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 c. (250 ml) cooked millet (instructions follow)
3 tbsp. (45 ml) coarsely chopped parsley
1½ tbsp. (22.5 ml) finely chopped sage
1 tsp. (5 ml) finely grated lemon zest
3-4 lb. (1.35-1.8 kg) free-range chicken
roast potatoes and steamed greens, to serve
Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until golden. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the millet, herbs and lemon zest. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Rinse the chicken and pat dry with kitchen paper. Spoon the stuffing into the cavity of the chicken. Tie the legs together with kitchen string.
Place the chicken, breast side up, in a large roasting pan. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 400ºF (200ºC) and cook for a further 50 minutes or until the juices run clear when you prick the thickest part of the thigh. (Cover the chicken with foil if it is browning too quickly.)
Remove the chicken from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes to rest before carving. Serve with roast potatoes and steamed greens. Serves 4.
Tips: If you want this dish to be gluten-free, make sure you use gluten-free bacon. Millet works particularly well with poultry or pork, so you could also try this stuffing in spatchcock, quail, turkey or a rolled pork loin.
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