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Roast Chook with Chestnut Stuffing


  • 1 x 2 kg Barossa or other well brought up chook

  • Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ cup verjuice

  • Stuffing:

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley

  • 30 g cumquat (lightly dried)

  • 2 tbsp chopped lemon thyme

  • 2 tbsp chopped rosemary – fried in a little extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs

  • ½ cup chestnuts (pre-cooked)

  • ½ egg

  • About 200 g chicken livers, sealed for only a second – only so they don’t bleed, then trimmed of connective tissue

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1.

    Preheat fan forced oven to 170°C.

  • 2.

    If chestnuts aren’t already cooked (they are very available frozen pre-cooked over the web), pre-cook the chestnuts by slitting the shells and grill the chestnuts until they are charred, turning them after 15 minutes. They should take about 25 minutes in all to cook this way.

  • 3.

    In a large bowl, combine the herbs, breadcrumbs, onions, livers, ½ egg and pre-cooked chestnuts, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

  • 4.

    Fill chicken cavity with the stuffing mixture. Place chook, breast-side up, in a shallow roasting pan and smear the bird all over with softened butter. Tuck the wings underneath the chicken.

  • 5.

    Season with sea salt flakes and pepper and roast for 40 minutes. Pour verjuice over the chook and return to the oven for another 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Check by inserting a skewer through the thickest part of the thigh joint to make sure the juices run clear. If there are any signs of pinkness, return to the oven. If you have a meat thermometer it should read 68°C when inserted into this joint.

  • 6.

    Leave the cooked chicken to stand, breast-side down in the roasting juices, in a warm place for at least 20 minutes before carving.

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