This recipe for roast baby chickens with pork, pistachio, and cranberry stuffing is the perfect show-stopping dish for the festive season. The stuffing is so delicious I suggest doubling it up and rolling what’s left over into balls to serve alongside this chicken.
I developed this recipe to pair with the recently launched 2020 La Motte Chardonnay. Whole-bunch pressed grapes are fermented in 300-liter barrels ensuring a brilliant balance between charming varietal fruit and refined French oak. This versatile wine is a great food wine and pairs well with the slightly gamey taste of these roast baby chickens. With its creamy undertones, it will also pair with any seafood dishes. All-round the perfect and affordable wine to have stocked for the festive season.
We are two weeks away from Christmas, my tree is up and the queues are getting longer in the shops. It really feels like the silly season has arrived. I absolutely love this time of year and adore all the food that comes with it.
What to serve with roast baby chickens?
As with any stuffed roast chicken recipe, the best thing to serve here is roast potatoes. Check out my recipe for the best-ever duck-fat roasted potatoes.
Any vegetable of your choice and I love green beans, asparagus, tender stem broccoli, roasted butternut, or pumpkin.
The roasting pan juices make a delicious gravy. Simply strain them into a small pot and add a corn-starch slurry to thicken. Two teaspoons of cornstarch mixed with one tablespoon of water will thicken the gravy.
Where do you buy baby chickens?
Baby chickens or petit poussin can be scarce but Checkers is now stocking free-range baby birds that I used in this recipe. Alternatively, check with speciality stores and meat merchants.
*Cooks notes – if you prefer crispy browned chicken skin, then perhaps don’t add the bacon as it covers the skin where it browns. It adds lovely flavour and looks so impressive though so you can choose. I have included instructions to roast these baby chickens with or without the bacon.
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Roast baby chickens with pork, pistachio, and cranberry stuffing
- 4 baby free-range chickens/ petit poussin
- 250 ml strong chicken stock
- 100 ml dry white wine
- 1 heaped teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 bay leaves
- 8 – 12 rashers of streaky bacon to create a lattice top optional
- Splash of olive oil or a knob of butter
- ½ white onion very finely chopped
- 6 – 8 sage leaves finely chopped
- 4 pork sausages removed from their casings
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or panko crumbs
- ¼ cup shelled pistachios roughly chopped
- A small handful of parsley leaves finely chopped
- 1 ½ Tbsp cranberry jelly
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350 F.
- Heat the olive oil or butter in a non-stick frying pan and fry the onion until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add the sage and continue to cook for a further minute. Allow to cool slightly.
- Add the onion mixture to a bowl with the sausage meat, breadcrumbs, pistachios, chopped parsley, cranberry jelly, and seasonings and mix well. This is best done using your hands. Divide this mixture into 4 and stuff each baby chicken with it. Tie the legs tightly together (truss) with a piece of string.
- If you are using bacon to create a lattice top, drape 2 – 3 slices around each bird tucking the ends under or between the wings.
- Place the 4 chickens snugly in a high-sided roasting dish. Mix the stock, white wine, Dijon, and mustard together and pour this over the chickens. Add the bay leaves to the dish.
To Roast if you are NOT using the bacon:
- Breast side facing up – 20 minutes
- Flipped over with underside facing up – 20 minutes
- Flipped back upright with breasts facing up – 20 minutes and until golden brown.
- Baste the chickens each time you flip them, and if the stock gets very dry, add a splash of hot water to the tray.
To roast if you are using bacon:
- cover the roasting dish with foil and roast for 20 minutes, then remove the foil, baste the birds and for a further 35 – 40 minutes until golden brown
- Remove the chickens from the pan and if necessary add a little more hot water to the pan and scrape up any pan juices and heat through. This makes the most delicious gravy to serve with the chicken. Serve with a crusty baguette or country loaf to mop up any excess.
*This post is proudly sponsored by La Motte