Cajun roast chicken with cornbread stuffing
Cajun roast chicken with cornbread stuffingSubscribe to Sainsbury's magazine
This is a juicy, spicy, treat of a bird. Cook the stuffing outside so it becomes crunchy on top. If possible, make the cornbread the day before as it works better if it's slightly stale. On its own, the cornbread is a great accompaniment to tomato soup
For the cornbread
- 60g lard
- 225g coarse cornmeal or polenta
- 60g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
- 6-8 sage leaves, finely chopped
- 300ml buttermilk
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
For the spice rub
- 2 tsp sea salt flakes
- 2 tsp garlic granules
- 2 tsp dried onions, bashed into a powder
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ¼-½ tsp cayenne pepper, depending on how hot you like it
- ¼-½ tsp crushed dried chilli flakes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
For the chicken
- 1 large chicken, approximately 2kg
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the stuffing
- 40g butter, plus extra to grease
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1 celery stick, finely chopped
- 1 x 250g pack mini chorizo sausages, roughly chopped
- 1 x 198g can sweetcorn, drained
- 1 x 28g bunch parsley, leaves roughly chopped
- 6 sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 350ml chicken stock (from a cube is fine), left to cool slightly
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- First make the cornbread (ideally 1 day ahead). Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Put a 25cm diameter ovenproof frying pan, cast-iron gratin dish or heavy baking tin over a medium heat on the hob and melt the lard. Pour the melted lard into a jug and set aside to cool. Ensure the inside of the pan is brushed all over with the lard, then put the pan in the oven to heat up.
- In a bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt until well mixed. Stir in the spring onions and sage.
- Whisk the buttermilk and eggs into the cooled but liquid lard. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the cornmeal; mix until just combined.
Tip If you don't have time to make the cornbread, you can replace it in the stuffing mix with about 750g rustic country-style bread (such as sourdough or pain de champagne)
- Remove the pan from the oven; pour in the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, turn out onto a wire rack to cool; cut into 2-3cm cubes.
- Combine all of the ingredients for the spice rub in a bowl. Sprinkle some of the spice mixture into the bird’s cavity and stuff with the lemon. Rub the rest of the mixture all over the chicken and wrap tightly in several layers of clingfilm. Put on a plate; chill for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge 1 hour before cooking. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Remove the clingfilm, sit it in a roasting tin and trickle over the olive oil. Roast, basting every 20 minutes or so, for 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the chicken leg is pierced. If the skin is getting too dark, cover loosely with foil for the final 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest, lightly covered in foil, for 15 minutes.
- Once the chicken is in the oven, make the stuffing. Melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onions; sweat gently, until softened – about 5 minutes. Add the celery and chorizo, increase the heat a bit; fry for a further 5 minutes.
- Combine the cubes of cornbread in a bowl with the chorizo mixture, sweetcorn and herbs and season with salt and the freshly ground black pepper. Tip into a large lightly buttered ovenproof dish, about 28cm x 20cm. Combine the stock and egg in a jug and pour slowly over the stuffing, letting it soak in before you pour in more. Bake alongside the chicken for 35-45 minutes until the top is crisp and golden. Serve with the carved chicken and freshly cooked greens, if you like.