Thanks very much to Peter Hignett who has shared his mother’s recipe that dates back to the 1940s. It sounds lovely and we can’t wait to try it!
LEMON AND PARSLEY STUFFING
170g Fresh breadcrumbs (old 6 oz!!)
4 Streaky bacon slices, cut up in small pieces
Seasoning to taste
Say 4 sprigs of parsley chopped – more if you want.
1 beaten egg
Juice and zest of half a lemon
Mix the breadcrumbs and chopped bacon in a large bowl. Add seasoning, then chopped parsley and mix well to distribute evenly. Add the zest and juice of the lemon and bind the mixture with the egg. It will probably be a very dry mix so add a little water in small amounts. The mixture should eventually be sticky enough bind into a firm ball.
If time, leave to rest in the fridge for a couple of hours, then stuff into the neck end of chicken or turkey (so ensure that the bird you buy still has the neck skin intact). Secure the flap of skin to prevent leakage. Optionally, place 2 small onions in the cavity to prevent drying-out.
Before roasting, weigh the stuffed bird in order to calculate cooking time. Smear some good quality olive or cooking oil all around the bird, sprinkle pepper and salt before laying rashers of streaky bacon across the breast diagonally. Cover the bird with foil.
NB. These quantities might make too much stuffing for a smaller bird. Any unused stuffing mix should be frozen immediately for use in a future roast. Otherwise, the quantities of breadcrumbs, bacon etc. are not crucial and can be varied to suit your preference. Beware that lemon zest/juice is a very strong flavour and too much might spoil the stuffing.
I prefer a slower roasted chicken so start off at 160 degrees C for say 2 hours (depending on size of the bird). Remove the foil and raise the oven temperature to 180 degrees C to brown the skin, for 30-40 mins. Check the juices run clear when pierced with a fork in the fleshiest part of the bird.