Lyndey Milan's recipe for Christmas roast chicken with mustard fruits is perfect for your festive feast and pairs superbly with lighter reds like Pinot Noir or Grenache.
1.5–1.8kg free-range chicken
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
60g butter, softened
70g duck fat
700g kipfler potatoes, halved
1/3 cup (80ml) verjuice or white wine
1 cup (250ml) chicken stock
2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
1 tbsp (20ml) extra virgin olive oil
100g smoked streaky bacon, chopped
2 small (45g) eschalots, finely chopped
125g stale coarse sourdough breadcrumbs
25g roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 tbsp (each) flat-leaf parsley and thyme leaves, finely chopped
½ orange, zested
100g cherries, pitted, halved (or quartered if large)
1 (90g) lime
3/4 cups (165g) caster sugar
¼ cup (60ml) white wine vinegar
300g mixed glace fruit, e.g. figs, oranges, apricots, pineapple, pears, cherries, chopped
½ tbsp Dijon mustard
Recipe by Lyndey Milan
Photography by John Paul Urizar
Styling by Michaela Le Compte
Food Prep by Sarah-Jane Hallett
1. For the mustard fruits: zest lime well and then juice. Combine juice, sugar, vinegar and ¼ cup (60ml) water in a medium large saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved, then simmer, uncovered, for five minutes. Add zest, glace fruit and mustard. Simmer, uncovered, for a further 10 minutes or until thickened
2. For the stuffing: heat butter and oil in a medium frypan over medium-high heat. Add bacon and eschalots and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5–6 minutes until bacon is cooked and eschalot has softened. Scatter over the breadcrumbs and hazelnuts and cook, tossing frequently, for a further 2–3 minutes until lightly toasted. Remove to a bowl and stir in herbs, orange zest and cherries. Season to taste and cool completely.
3. Pre-heat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Put a large pot of water on to boil. Bring chicken and butter to room temperature for 30 minutes. Remove any giblets and excess fat from the chicken cavity.
4. Add some salt to the boiling water and plunge the whole chicken in, ensuring it is submerged for 45–60 seconds. Remove and drain well, being sure to empty the cavity. Pat dry with kitchen towel.
5. Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper then stuff the chicken with the cooled stuffing. Truss the chicken if desired. Rub the outside of the chicken with butter and sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Place on an oiled oven rack in a large baking tray.
6. Meanwhile, steam or boil potatoes for 10 minutes or until almost tender. Drain and place in another hot baking dish with duck fat and toss, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, uncovered, turning once.
7. Roast chicken for 20 minutes, then turn over, baste with pan juices and cook for a further 20–30 minutes breast side down, or until golden on the under side. Reduce heat to 180°C. Turn chicken breast-side back up and cook for another 15 or more minutes (around 60–65 minutes in total), or until golden. Chicken is cooked when juices run clear when pierced through the thickest between the leg and the body.
8. Remove chicken to a warm plate and rest breast-side down, covered loosely with foil, for at least 20 minutes. Increase oven to 200°C to brown potatoes.
9. Meanwhile, remove excess fat from roasting dish. Add verjuice or wine to the roasting pan. Bring to the boil over mediumhigh heat then add reserved pan juices and chicken stock. Bring to the boil and scrape up brown bits with a wooden spoon, and boil until the liquid is reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Strain into a jug.
10. Steam or microwave the asparagus until tender crisp, approximately 2–3 minutes.
11. Untie the legs if trussed, carve, and add any juices which come out of the chicken to the sauce. Serve with potatoes and mustard fruits.
Trussing a chicken ensures the bird keeps its shape and cooks evenly. Fold the wing tips back, tucking
them behind and under the wings. Then tie the legs together with cotton kitchen string, or secure them in place with skewers or poultry pins. Mustard fruits are also great with Christmas ham.