Sage and Pancetta Roast Chicken


1.6kg (3lb 8oz) oven-ready chicken
50g (2oz) butter, softened
4-5 sprigs fresh sage
1 onion, finely chopped
100g packet smoked pancetta
100g (4oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
1 medium egg, beaten
Fresh sage leaves, to garnish


  • Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Smear chicken with half the softened butter and place in a foil-lined roasting tin. Scatter over a few sage leaves and season. Wrap loosely in foil and roast for 1 hr 10 mins.
  • Melt the rest of the butter and fry the onion for 5 mins. Chop half the pancetta, add to the pan and fry for a further 5 mins.
  • Remove pan from the heat. Finely chop the rest of the sage and add to the pan with the breadcrumbs and seasoning. Cool. Stir in the beaten egg and press stuffing into a greased 18cm (7in) shallow cake tin.
  • Uncover the chicken and top with the rest of the pancetta slices. Return to the oven and roast, uncovered, for a further 20-30 mins until golden brown and cooked through. Cook the stuffing in the oven at the same time.
  • Cut the stuffing wedges and serve on a platter with the roast chicken, garnished with fresh sage leaves.
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