Pork and Sage Stuffed Chicken

I don’t generally buy stuffing mix as it’s really easy to make yourself. The only time that I do use it is as a crumb coating for chicken portions, but that’s for another day. Today is all about getting stuffed!

1 medium Onion, finely chopped
225g Pork stuffing meat
4tbs dried Breadcrumbs
1tbs dried Sage
2tbs boiling water
1 whole chicken

1. Oven to 190˚C/170C ˚fan.
2. In a medium sized bowl, add all of the above ingredients and thoroughly mix together with your hand (or for those of a squeamish nature, you can use a spatula).
3. Use the mixture to stuff your chicken cavity.
4. Weigh your stuffed chicken and cook for 25 minutes per 500g plus an additional 25 minutes.
5. To check if your chicken is cooked through, pierce the thickest part (generally where the leg joins the body.  If the juices run clear, then your chicken is cooked.  If there is still some colour to the juices, cook for another 25 minutes and check again.
6. Allow the chicken to rest for 15 minutes before carving.
7. Serve with gravy made from the meat juices.

*The pork stuffing meat I’ve used here is the type that you get in a long plastic tube, sealed at each end with a metal clip, usually about 450g in weight.  Alternatively you can use ready made sausages which are your favourite and omit the Sage.

Meatballs in a Tomato Sauce

A favourite in our house that I’ve been making since my son was a baby 18 years ago. Over the years I’ve changed it slightly and added a little chilli to make it for a more grown up palette, but feel free to exclude the chilli (or even add a little more if you prefer).

500g Minced beef
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
1tsp ground Garlic
1tsp dried Oregano
1tsp dried Mixed Herbs
1tsp Chilli powder
50g Breadcrumbs
1 Egg
2tbs Rapeseed oil
Sauce
1 Onion, roughly chopped
540g Passata sauce
2tbs Tomato purée
1tbs Balsamic vinegar
1tsp dried Oregano
1tsp dried Mixed Herbs
1tsp Sugar
1. In a blender, place your onion, Passata, tomato purée, balsamic vinegar, herbs & sugar.
2. Blitz all these together until smooth (alternatively you can put your sauce ingredients straight into your saucepan and use a stick blender).
3. Pour into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cover with the lid whilst you make your meatballs.

4. In a large bowl, place your minced beef, onion, garlic, herbs, chilli, breadcrumbs and egg.

 

 5. Mix together until thoroughly combined.

6. Form small balls (you should be able to get 30-40 out of this mixture).  I generally use a 15ml (tbs) measuring spoon to portion my mixture out before rolling them into balls and setting to one side.

7. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry your meatballs in batches of 8-10 until browned all over.  Don’t add too many into the pan or they’ll steam rather than brown.

8. Tip your browned meatballs into the sauce and gently shake the pan to submerge them.

9. Continue to fry the batches of meatballs until they’re all browned and you’ve transferred them all into the sauce.
10. Simmer the sauce and meatballs, without the lid on, for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.  Try not to stir the meatballs as it may break them up, instead give the saucepan a shake every so often.

11. While your meatballs are cooking, you have time to bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and cook your spaghetti until ‘al dente’, then drain.

12. Serve the meatballs on a bed of spaghetti, sprinkled win some freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiano.

FREEZE: Once cooked, you can cool & freeze the sauce and meatballs for up to 3 months.  Allow to thoroughly defrost and then heat through gently in a saucepan until hot.  Serve with fresh pasta.

This is the perfect recipe to double up for another day’s easy meal.