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Roast chicken is as classic as they come; a Sunday lunch staple. But every Sunday? Well, it could be. So many foodies shun chicken as a bland little bird, but debone and stuff it, and you’ve put a whole different spin on it. Now, how about a new jacket? Literally. I can’t think of a more fetching (and delicious) jacket than this bacon weave.


TIME: 4 hours | SERVES: 4 – 6


for the brine

1 litre water

40 g salt

30 ml honey

1 lemon, cut into quarters

2 sprigs fresh thyme

6 black peppercorns

1 garlic clove, crushed

for the stuffing

 15 ml olive oil

250 g white button mushrooms, sliced

200 g rindless streaky bacon, diced

15 ml butter

300 g leeks, sliced and

2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

2 sprigs thyme

300 g chicken mince

salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the roast chicken

1 large whole chicken

200 g rindless streaky bacon

for the duck fat potatoes

600 g duck fat

1 kg baby potatoes, peeled

5 ml salt

salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the roast baby vegetables

700 g baby sweet potatoes, peeled

500 g baby onions, peeled

olive oil

200 g (220 ml) butter

salt and freshly ground black pepper

for the crispy kale

500 ml canola oil

200 g kale



for the brine

Pour the water into a large saucepan. Add the rest of the ingredients and place on the heat. Stir until the salt has dissolved, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.

for the stuffing

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the mushrooms and fry until golden brown. Add the bacon and fry until crispy. Then, add the butter, leeks, garlic and thyme. Lower the heat and fry until the leeks are soft. Remove from the heat and cool in the fridge.

Once cool, add the chicken mince and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and place in fridge until needed.

for the roast chicken


It’s easier than you think. Place the chicken on its breast and cut down the backbone to expose the meat.

Following the carcass with your deboning knife, begin cutting the meat from the bone. Cut the joint at the shoulder. Cut on top and around the breastbone and down on the other side. You simply separate the meat from the bone as you go. Remove the carcass in one piece.

Cut around the bone of the thigh to free the meat. Holding the tip in one hand, scrape with your knife, pushing (not cutting) the meat off the bone.

Separate the thighbone at the joint between the thigh and the drumstick. Cut round the drumstick bones and push out the bones. Leave the wings intact. Place the deboned chicken in the cooled brine for 2 hours.

Heat the oven to 200 °C. Take out of the brine and dry with kitchen towel. Lay the chicken down, flapped open, and spoon the stuffing on top and into the cavities of the drumsticks. Close the chicken and secure with toothpicks.

Turn the chicken around and use butcher’s string to tie the legs closed and together.


Place the bacon onto a flat surface and weave the streaky bacon together before transferring it over onto the breast part of the chicken. Place the chicken onto an oven roasting dish and place it into the oven for 55 minutes.


for the duck fat potatoes

Heat the oven to 200 °C. Place the baby potatoes and 5 ml salt in a saucepan.

Cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Let it boil for 7 minutes and drain.

Place the duck fat in a roasting tin and place in the oven for 5 minutes. Carefully add the potatoes and roast for 35 minutes, then lightly crush some of the potatoes with a fork and place it back into the oven for a further 15 – 25 minutes. This ensures they come out extra crispy!

for the roast baby vegetables

Heat the oven to 200 °C. Place the baby sweet potatoes and baby onions into a roasting dish. Drizzle with a little olive oil and add the butter. Season with salt and pepper and place in the oven for 45 minutes.

for the crispy kale

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the kale in batches and fry until crispy. Drain on kitchen towel and season with salt.

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