Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.

Roast Chicken with Apricot and Thyme stuffing, 
and all the trimmings

Autumnal Roast Chicken with Apricot and Thyme stuffing, and all the trimmings.

That sentence just fills me with joy. Most sentences containing any words around food fill me with joy, but this one just brims with happiness. I'm not sure I know of any people who wouldn't tuck in to a roast chicken dinner, apart from the vegetarians, but even if your mom was a pretty shocking cook, I'm quite certain she would have got this one right.

Another happy moment I had was when I won a Pick n Pay competition and my prize of Le Crueset cookware arrived a week after my birthday.Ever since I could spell Le Creuset I have been wanting to have my own set. I always dreamingly pictured myself
serving up large helpings of beouf Bourguignon from a Le Crueset casserole dish, a happy clan of gleaming faced children sitting around the table, while I'm wearing one of those kitch old fashioned spotted aprons.

When I found out of the competition I rushed home and threw together the
Spaghetti Carbonara with courgettes, Pancetta and Fresh Thyme. The sun had almost set completely and I was worried that I had lost the last remaining bits of precious sunshine. Spaghetti has always been tricky to photograph, so I used a fork to twirl it into place, added some last droplets of golden Olive oil, and clicked away.

Then I held thumbs.

When I found out I had won, and my picture had been chosen by none other than Justine Drake (I have never met her, but such a fan!) I was over the moon!

I have been really wanting to showcase the casserole dish (in Cassis!) and what better way than a glorious golden roast chicken and tatties.

Autumnal Roast Chicken with Apricot and Thyme stuffing, and all the trimmings.
Feeds 4
1 x 2 kg whole free range chicken
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

2g (5 sprigs) of fresh thyme
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 a medium onion, finely chopped
3 ml salt
1 clove of garlic, sliced
30 g raisins
30 g sultanas
1/2 chicken stock cube
200 ml boiling water
4 slices white bread, crusts removed
1 x (226g) tin of apricots, drained and chopped

4 Tbsp olive oil
8 carrots, peeled
1 large onion
6 large potatoes, peeled
1 small butternut, peeled
5 ml salt

2 Tbsp flour
Boiling water

Preheat the oven to 180◦C.

Make the stuffing first.
Remove the leaves of thyme from the twigs.
Heat a large frying pan and fry the chopped onion for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the sliced garlic and thyme leaves and cook for a further 1 minute.
Remove from the heat. Add the raisins and sultanas, mixing them in well.
Dissolve stock cube in boiling water.
Tear the bread into this and leave to soak.
Add the softened bread mix and apricots to the frying pan, and mix well.

Remove any giblets that are hiding in the chicken cavity.
Mix the salt and the smoked paprika together and rub all over the chicken. Using a large spoon, stuff the apricot mix into the cavity of the chicken. There will be enough to also stuff the front by the breasts, under the skin.

Place in the middle rack in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

When the time is up, remove the chicken from the roasting tin and place breast side down to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

For the gravy:
Brown the flour in a pan and add the juices from the roasting tin. Add boiling water to attain the desired thickness, and bring to the boil.

Serve up and enjoy!


  1. Oh my word that sounds absolutely delicious!!!! Now I am hungry.

  2. Ah Thanks Dawn! Do tell me how your one comes out ;)

  3. oh my gosh! I have got to try this! I'm so happy to find a saffer blog with all the flavours and combos that make me miss home so much. I can't wait to start cooking some of these gems. thanks so much!