20 March 2011

Apple-Stuffed Chicken with Colcannon

St Patrick's Day on Thursday was the perfect excuse to make colcannon - which, I have decided, is one of the best foods in the world. I'd had colcannon once before, in an Irish pub at Stansted airport with my dad, and kind of immediately thought it was gross. In my defence, I was about sixteen and had had very little exposure to cabbage before. Anyway, I didn't even realize that colcannon had bacon in it, so once I saw the recipe on BBC Good Food I was sold. Not that I bothered to read the actual recipe. Just the ingredients.

The food was good - the roast chicken was surprisingly easy for a weekday, given that I generally have little more than an hour to prepare food (that's what happens when you get out of work at 9.30pm). It was, admittedly, a little tasteless, but what can you expect from plain chicken? The apple wedges and the colcannon really played their part, taking up the chicken's slack, and overall we were both very happy with this.

I've included a suggestion within the recipe to make a Guinness gravy, but as I didn't do it myself it won't appear in the ingredients list.

Apple-Stuffed Chicken with Colcannon
Serves 2

For the chicken:
1 medium-sized roast chicken
1 apple
Oil (about 3 tablespoons)

For the colcannon:
6 medium-sized potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cream

1 tablespoon butter
1 handful cabbage, or other thick green leaves (eg spinach)
3 bacon rashers

Core an apple and cut it into quarters. Rub one quarter over the chicken skin before using it to stuff the chicken. Cut the other three quarters into wedges and add them to the roasting pan.

Mix oil with herbs, salt and pepper, and drizzle over the chicken and apple wedges. Roast at 200 degrees (390 Fahrenheit) for one hour, basting regularly.

Peel the potatoes and boil until soft. Mash with butter, cream, salt and pepper.

In the meantime, slice the cabbage and bacon into thin strips. Fry in one tablespoon butter until the leaves are wilted and the bacon is crispy. Mix with the mashed potato, tasting and seasoning accordingly.

At this point, you could remove the chicken to be carved, and add some gravy powder and beer to the cooking pan to make an apple-y, beer-y gravy. I imagine that would taste wonderful - but Tom wasn't too keen on me wasting his lager so I served the colcannon with chicken and apple wedges. Still delicious.