Karen’s Black Pepper, Walnut and Cumin-stuffed Chicken roasted with Pumpkin
Karen, Karen, Karen. She never fails me and I love her. Another winner flavour combo and simple to make. I mean, you’ve gotta love a roast on a Sunday night, shove it in the oven and wait. But this, with the walnut pesto and enough butter to please Julia Childs stuffed under the skin, is on another level entirely.
It’s the first time I’ve made it tonight, from Karen’s first book which must be more than 10 years old I reckon. It’s just great. Karen suggests paring it with a burghul salad from her book, but we just had brussels sprouts and it was good. Make sure you scoop up that paste from the bottom of the roasting pan and have some yummy bread on hand to ‘dip dip’ as my lovely girl says. The kids hoovered it, happy mum. Go make!
100 ml extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup walnuts
4 cloves garlic, split
3 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp sea salt flakes
2 tsp black peppercorns
6 sprigs thyme, leaves only
1.4 kg good quality free-range chicken, butterflied (ask your butcher, although I didn’t bother with this and it was all good)
100 g butter, cut into small cubes
1 small jap pumpkin, skin on, cut into wedges
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Heat half the oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat and cook the walnuts and garlic, tossing for 3 mins.
Add the cumin seeds and a little salt. Cook for another 2 mins, then pour the mixture into a mortar and pestle. Add the peppercorns, thyme and remaining salt and pound to a rough paste.
Gently separate the skin from the flesh in pockets all over the chicken and stuff with the paste, adding small cubes of butter as you go.
Spread out the pumpkin wedges in a baking dish, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the remaining oil. Sit the chicken on top and roast for 45-55 mins until cooked and golden brown. Rest for about 10 mins before carving.
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