Stuffed Spring Chicken and Vegetables


3 1/2-4 lb (1.6-1.8) kg chicken

for the stuffing:

4 oz (110 g) lean bacon, rinded
6 oz (170 g) black pudding (blood sausage)
2 cloves of garlic
4 slices wholemeal bread
4 sprigs of fresh tarragon (if available., or 1 tsp dried)
2 measures of cognac

to serve:

1 1/2 lb/680 g new potatoes
1 head of lettuce
1 large jar of petitspois or 1/2lb (230 g) fresh mangetouts


1. Cut the wing tips from the chicken. Cut the bacon into narrow strips. Render it in a frying pan until most of the fat runs.

2. Meanwhile, cut up the black pudding and slices of bread into small cubes, removing the crusts from the bread. Put these cubes in a basin, drain most of the fat from the bacon and add the bacon to the bread and the black pudding (blood sausage).

3. Chop the tarragon and add it to the stuffing. Peel and crush the garlic and mix into the stuffing together with a little salt and pepper. Moisten the stuffing with a measure of cognac and stuff the chicken with the mixture. Secure the bird closed with cocktail sticks.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F, gas mark 4. Heat up the pan in which you fried the bacon and brown the chicken all over. Pour on the second measure of cognac and light it. When the flames have died down, transfer the bird to a casserole, cover and cook in the oven for about an hour.

5. About 10 minutes before the chicken will be done, put the potatoes on to boil. Remove any wilted leaves from the lettuce, wash it and shake dry. Roughly chop the lettuce and stir-fry it quickly in the frying pan, moisten with water and stir until wilted. Heat up the petits pois, or boil the mangetouts rapidly for 2-3 minutes in plenty of salted water.

6. When the chicken is cooked, drain off and reduce the cooking juices to serve as gravy.

7. Serve the chicken on a small bed of lettuce leaves with new potatoes and petits pois or mangetouts

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