Roast chicken with leek, tarragon & goat's cheese stuffing

Roast chicken with leek, tarragon & goat's cheese stuffing

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(5 ratings)


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Cooking time

Cook: 2 hrs - 2 hrs, 40 mins Plus 15 minutes cooling

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 6

Perk up a roast chicken with a unique stuffing

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 2 medium leeks, trimmed and washed
  • 1 Spanish onion, trimmed and washed
  • 85g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 3-4 bushy sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • about 100g/4oz soft fresh goat's cheese (rindless) or ricotta
  • 4 heaped tbsp finely grated parmesan
  • 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • a large chicken, about 2½ kg/5lb 8oz
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

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  1. Chop the leeks and onion fairly finely: use the pulse button if chopping them in a food processor, so they don’t turn to mush. Melt 25g/1oz butter in a large frying pan placed over a lowish heat and fry the vegetables gently for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft. Set the pan aside to cool.
  2. Strip off all the herb leaves and put them in a food processor with the remaining butter, the cheeses, breadcrumbs and the cooled vegetables. Season, then pulse until the mixture is a rough, sticky, dough-like mass.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6/fan 180C. Place the chicken with the large cavity facing towards you. Remove and discard any fat remaining inside the opening. Now gently separate the skin over the breast area from the flesh beneath: use the tip of a small knife to get going, then gently ease your fingers in between and work them to the far end on both sides of the breast bone.
  4. Without tearing the skin, push in dollops of stuffing, massaging them right down and over the flesh. (Put any leftover stuffing into the small neck cavity.) Pull the skin back into place and seal in the stuffing by stitching 2-3 wooden toothpicks through the edges of the opening, like a needle in a tapestry. You can make the stuffing up to 24 hours ahead, keeping it cling-filmed in the fridge.
  5. Put the chicken in a snug-fitting roasting tin, smear the skin with oil and season. Roast the chicken, breast-side up, for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken on its side, basting with any juices, and roast for a further 30 minutes, then roast for an equal period on the other side. Now turn the chicken breast-side up again, and continue to roast for 10-30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when a skewer is poked into the thickest part of the thigh.
  6. Leave the chicken to rest in the tin for 15-20 minutes, loosely draped with foil. To serve, first remove the toothpicks, then carve the chicken, spooning some of the soft stuffing onto each serving.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2002

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pippahockey's picture
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just amazing. can't wait to do it again

yorkshirejen's picture
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Used a bog standard tub of soft cheese as I wasn't sure how culinarily adventurous my guests were, and this kept the cost down with the added result that every last bit was hoovered up with great enthusiasm. Kept the piles and piles of fresh herbs and it was enjoyed by all. Will do this again, especially for summer garden get togethers with good plain green veg or even salad.

jane111's picture

I don't think the cost of the stuffing or the effort it took was worth it!! I followed the instructions step by step but found that the
stuffing was too soft and although I used the cocktail sticks, the
stuffing still came out into the roasting tin and was a sticky mass
mixed with the chicken juices.

mother_ship's picture
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I also used ricotta and I used coriander instead of tarragon (because that's what was lurking in the bottom of the fridge) and I have to say the result was very successful. I've never stuffed a chicken under the skin or turned it while cooking but this is definitely a method I will use again. I used the leftover chicken, stuffing and veg to make a pie the next day and that was even better!

maple_lcfc's picture
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We always make it with ricotta and it has never failed us! Indeed my boyfriend´s dad still says it was the best chicken he ever had. I just came to the recipe again to check I remember all of the ingredients for dinner on Sunday!