A little chicken sat on my kitchen work table bottom up and I robbed it of its self. Following instructions to debone it, as I had done on several earlier occasions I became dismayed. How could I roll disjointed flesh without the skin being rolled up with it. I decided to remove the skin, arranging the flesh on greaseproof paper, making a kind of rectangular jigsaw. The skin went to the compost bin which rarely has meat put into it. I could have fed the skin to the birds but at the time I could not solve how to suspend the pieces from the branches of the tree. The bones made chicken stock. Little is wasted in this kitchen!
TO DEBONE THE BIRD
Place it on it's breast on a chopping board and thwack the backbone with a sharp knife or chopper. Work with a sharp knife down each side, leg and wing to cut the flesh from the bones. Use scissors if necessary.
TO MAKE A STUFFING
Sauté together lots of finely chopped onion, chopped garlic, deseeded, chopped red pepper and chopped apples. Then add destoned black olives, basil leaves, breadcrumbs and one egg and a handful of pine nuts with salt and pepper, mixing to a thick paste.
TO STUFF THE CHICKEN
Spread the paste over the chicken flesh. Sprinkle lemon juice over all and add a goodly splash of something 40% alcoholic. Use the greaseproof paper to push the chicken into a roulade without trapping the paper. Press firmly then wrap the paper around the chicken roll. Tie the ends with string or raffia like a Christmas Cracker. I think it is possible to use cling film. A chef we have known told us that as long as the cling film stays in contact with a moist surface it will not burn!!
TO BAKE THE CHICKEN ROLL
200°C for one hour in a covered roasting dish with potatoes beneath, Then another half hour with the lid off. Baste throughout cooking period.
TO SERVE THE CHICKEN ROULADE
Carve it. We served it with crinkly crankly savoy cabbage balance atop with julienne carrots, individual pommes dauphinoise and a white sauce made with the roasted chicken juices. I would have like to serve it with a zigzag decoration of red pepper coulis over the chicken roll and cabbage but I didn't think that one through!
You could more simply .... serve with just the roasted veggies and some watercress.
Before this we had FRENCH ONION SOUP with a CHEESY TOAST (no photo)
After the cheese course ... STEAMED PINEAPPLE AND DATE UPSIDE-DOWN DESSERT
and because it was a few days after Captain Sensible's birthday we indulged in Opèra chocolate mousse gateau which only cost us 6 euros. We were still eating the minutest portion with coffee almost one month later. It was rich and probably filled with chemical ingredients!!