Sage and Onion Roast Chicken


Nanny's Sage and Onion Roast Chicken


This is another recipe remembered in honour of my paternal Grandmother, I've amended it slightly over the years.

1 large free range chicken

2 large Granny Smith Apples, grated with peel on

1 bunch of fresh sage, finely chopped

2 cloves of crushed garlic

2 Spanish onions, finely diced

4 rashers of bacon

2 cups of very good chicken stock

½ cup pistachio nuts, finely chopped

Zest of a lemon - set aside lemon, cut in half

2 teaspoons of smoked paprika

1 tablespoon of butter

A few long, strong sprigs of rosemary

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil


Pre-heat oven to 220°C


Clean the cavity of the chicken, removing all excess fat.  Loosed the skin over the breast in preparation for stuffing.  In a small bowl, fork together the garlic, onion, sage, pistachios, lemon zest, paprika, butter, salt and pepper until a cohesive paste is formed, if onions are particularly large, a little additional butter may be needed.  Push half the mixture under the skin of the chicken over the breast and place the remaining mix inside the cavity.  Use the long rosemary sprigs to 'sew' the cavity of the chicken together, tying together the legs firmly.  Drape bacon rashers over the bird and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle additional paprika over the bacon.


Place the lemon halves in the base of a heavy roasting pan and sit the chicken on top, pouring in the stock so that it just reaches the base of the bird.


Cover the chicken with baking paper, then cover the entire roasting pan with foil wrap.  Place in a hot oven for an hour, or until juices run clear from the thickest part of the thigh.  Remove coverings, spooning pan juices over the chicken to keep moist and return to a hot oven until bacon and exposed chicken skin is burnished and crispy.


 Potatoes can be added to the roasting pan, however ensure chicken is not stewing in stock.   Remaining pan juices make an excellent gravy : Sieve into saucepan, reserving a small quantity to mix with cornflour into a paste.  Add paste to pan juices and stir well until thick.


Serves 4-6 depending on size of chicken/appetites.