I don’t expect any partridges or pear trees to be arriving tomorrow, but I thought you might like to see some pictures of the 2 hens I have prepared, my low FODMAP contribution to the Christmas feast.
These chickens are a great way to feed a crowd and a perfect do-ahead dish. The chickens are deboned which makes for easy carving when it’s time to serve. Don’t let the thought of deboning scare you off; it really isn’t difficult. Just give yourself plenty of time to carefully cut the meat away from the bones. Start by making a cut along the back bone and work each side in turn from there. For step-by-step instructions look here or here. Or you could be extra nice to your butcher and ask them to do it for you. Just make sure you keep the bones to make delicious onion-free stock.
Once you have your deboned chicken it’s time to create a stuffing. I have used chicken thigh mince for good flavour with the addition of pancetta, brie, cranberries, pine nuts, parsley, with an egg and breadcrumbs to bind it all together. I have made my breadcrumbs from a couple of slices of oat bread but you use whatever wheat/rye-free bread you prefer. Really, you could change this stuffing in any way you like to suit your taste. Some other nice flavours to consider are sage or thyme, walnuts, mustard, lemon or orange zest, spinach, feta; just use your imagination.
The chicken legs are filled with a little of the stuffing, and the remainder is mounded along centre of the chicken over the breasts. Now at this point you could roll the chickens up and tie with kitchen string. I like to take the easier option of oiling a couple of loaf tins and tucking a chicken into each one, seam side down. Rub a little oil over the skin and season with salt and pepper, and then your chickens are good to go to the oven.
Give your chickens plenty of time to rest after they are cooked so they don’t fall apart when you carve, I’d say at least 20 minutes. Any pan juices can be strained and used to make a sauce. They would even be nice served cold…anyone with picnic plans?
I don’t have any pics of the finished chickens yet, but I will add some after Christmas. I would love to hear what you have planned for your own low FODMAP Christmas dishes.
May your Christmas be abundant with the blessings of this special time of year and happy times with family and friends. Oh, and plenty of low FODMAP food ;).
Two 1.5kg chickens, deboned
5oog chicken thigh mince
2 slices oat bread
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper
Lightly oil 2 loaf tins. Preheat oven to 180°C/35o°F.
If your bread is very fresh, lightly toast before using a food processer to blitz it into breadcrumbs. Chop the brie into 1cm cubes. Finely chop the pancetta and cranberries. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, except the deboned chickens and oil, seasoning well with salt and pepper, and mix with your hands.
Lay the chickens out skin side down. Fill the legs of each chicken with a small amount of the stuffing. Divide the remaining stuffing between the chickens, mounding it along the centre of each. Roll the chickens up to enclose the stuffing. Place them into the prepared tins seam side down. Rub a little oil over the skin and season with salt and pepper.
Bake for 60 minutes until golden (if they seem to be browning too much cover with foil). Remove from the oven and rest at least 20 minutes before slicing to serve.
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And here are a couple of snaps of the finished hens…