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Nici Wickes: Festive stuffed chicken

Nici Wickes,
Publish Date
Sat, 16 Dec 2017, 10:21AM
Cracker of a Christmas centrepeice: stuffed festive chicken (Photo/Todd Eyre)

Nici Wickes: Festive stuffed chicken

Nici Wickes,
Publish Date
Sat, 16 Dec 2017, 10:21AM

If you're tired of turkey and keen for a change this year, why not try this festive Christmas table centerpeice?

This makes a perfectly good substitute for a turkey and it’s economical too! This recipe is deceptively simple to put together and it is spectacular served hot or cold so it makes the perfect stress-free recipe for Christmas lunch or dinner.

Serves 8


  • 400g streaky bacon
  • 8 large free-range chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
  • Salt & pepper to season



  • 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup mix cranberries and currants, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch parsley, chopped fine
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, shredded + 6-8 extra, fried in butter for garnish
  • Zest from half an orange or one lemon
  • ½ tsp sea salt + decent pinch black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil (or 30g butter)



  1. Preheat oven to 180 C.
  2. Lay out large rectangle of baking paper with the long edge closest to you. Arrange bacon rashers vertically, overlapping each, to cover the paper. Make a row of 4 thighs along the long edge, slightly in from the edge of the bacon. Arrange each thigh to butt up, or even slightly overlap, to the next one. It’s like a jigsaw! Now make a second row above so you have a large rectangle. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Mix stuffing ingredients to combine and sprinkle evenly of chicken. Start from the long side closest to you and use the baking paper to roll up into a tight log. Carefully transfer to roasting dish, placing it seam-side down. Brush with oil.
  4. Cover with foil and cook for 45 minutes, baste, then leave uncovered and cook for further 15-25 minutes or until bacon is crisped and chicken is cooked through.
  5. Scatter with crispy sage leaves and rest for 10-15 minutes before cutting into thick rounds to serve.

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