Hay-Baked ‘Loose Birds’ Chicken with Swaledale-Baked Dauphinoise, Smoked Saddleback Bacon Rolls and Buttered Spinach

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Preparation info

  • Main course - Serves

    four

    • Difficulty

      Medium

    • Ready in

      2 hr

Appears in

Loose Birds & Game

Loose Birds & Game

By Andrew Pern

Published 2010

  • About

A LITTLE BIT OF THEATRE FOR THIS LOCAL BIRD. IT’S GREAT AS A CENTERPIECE, BROUGHT TO THE TABLE SURROUNDED BY HAY, GARNISHED WITH THE BACON ROLLS, AND SERVED WITH A POT OF POTATOES AND SPINACH ON THE SIDE.

Ingredients

  • 1 large oven-ready chicken
  • 200 g hay
  • 4 slices smoked bacon
  • 200 g spinach
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 25 g butter
  • seasoning

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Season the whole chicken and wrap in the hay. Place in a roasting tray and place in the oven for approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile prepare the dauphinoise potatoes. Peel the potatoes and slice thinly Bring the cream to the boil and add the thyme and garlic. Layer the potatoes in an ovenproof dish, adding seasoning as you go. Pour over the cream, brush with the melted butter and grate the cheese on top. Bake for 45 minutes. Either serve in the cooking dish, or cut out ‘rounds’ with a pastry cutter. Keep warm.

    To Make the Bacon Rolls

    Cut each bacon rasher into 3, roll up and hold in place with a cocktail stick. Bake for 10 minutes in the same oven.

    Wilt the spinach in a frying pan with the butter, a little seasoning and the nutmeg.

    Once the chicken is cooked, take to the table within the hay. Carve, serving with the bacon rolls, a stack of potatoes and spinach on the side.