Haitian Roast Chicken with Two Stuffings

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    6

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Caribbean Food Made Easy

Caribbean Food Made Easy

By Levi Roots

Published 2009

  • About

If you like cooking with fire you’ll love this. There’s nothing cooler than taking something flambéed to the table - it’s real theatre. This is what I cook for Christmas. Use ordinary bananas rather than plantain inside or alongside the bird if you prefer, or if you can’t get hold of plantain. This is definitely one to wow friends with at Sunday lunch.

Ingredients

  • 1.6 kg ( lb) roasting chicken 30 g (1 oz) butter
  • 2 very ripe plantains, peeled and sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 350 ml (12 fl oz) chicken stock
  • 4 tbsp rum

    Method

    1. For the bread stuffing, melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the onion until soft. Add the spring onions and garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the nutmeg and breadcrumbs; cook until golden. Add the thyme, lime zest and juice, rum and sugar. Starting from the loose skin at the neck end, ease the skin from the breast meat of the bird with your fingers - do this very gently as you don’t want to remove the skin or tear it - reaching as far as you can down the legs and stopping before you reach the end of each breast. Push the stuffing under the skin of the bird then tuck the neck skin back underneath.
    2. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Melt half the butter in a frying pan and fry the plantain until cooked. Add the tomatoes, soften slightly and season. You can stuff the bird with this mixture, or make it while the bird is cooking and roast it alongside the bird for the last half-hour of cooking time. Smear the remaining butter over the bird and season with cayenne, salt and pepper. Set in a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 1½ hours (1 ¾ hours if stuffed). Push a skewer into the thigh at the thickest point. If the juices run clear, it is done; if not, give it another 5 minutes, then test again.
    3. Put the bird on a heated platter and cover with foil. Add the chicken stock to the juices in the tin, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom. Boil this until you have a liquid with a gravy-like consistency, then pour through a sieve into a warm gravy boat. Put the plantain mixture around the bird. Heat the rum in a frying pan and set it alight. Pour over the bird and carry it proudly to the table. Serve the chicken with the gravy.