Riaan Steyn: mains

MOTHERWELL police station detective Riaan Steyn lives in Westering and is planning a “huge spread”.

He was grouped with winner Sarah Stevens as well as “angel enthusiast” Maja Saffidien and telecoms engineer Mandi Sixaso.

“My brother, Andre, is a former Sun International chef who teaches at Stenden, the hospitality school in Port Alfred.

“The whole family is heading to Port Alfred on Christmas Day. There’ll be about 15 of us. I will certainly make my deboned chicken.

“And, no, I don’t think Michael will be joining us,” he quipped, in reference to Maja’s regular “guest” from the spirit world.

DEBONED CHICKEN WITH THYME STUFFING

Ingredients

One whole chicken, about 1.3kg

6 strips streaky bacon

8 slices day-old white bread, crusts removed

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

3 Tbsp butter

1 tsp dried thyme or 1 Tbsp fresh

One teaspoon aromat

Glace cherries (red and green) to cover top

Toothpicks

Method

Cut wings off at second joint closest to the chicken. Slice open from the breast side.

With a very sharp knife start deboning (Riaan suggests YouTube for step-by-step instructions). Season.

For the stuffing, pulse the bread in a blender until finely crumbled. Chop onion and garlic finely and saute in butter until soft, but not browned. Add to the crumbs along with thyme, Aromat and pepper. If the stuffing is dry, add a bit of milk. Shape the filling into an oval and place in the middle of the deboned chicken with the skin on the outside.

Fold the one side of the chicken over the filling and do the same with the other half so that it overlaps.

Turn the chicken over onto its breast side and wrap the bacon over the chicken.

Tie together with twine and season with more thyme, salt and pepper.

Place the bird in a 180°C oven, uncovered, for about an hour and 15 minutes or until golden.

About half an hour before it comes out of the oven, attach the cherries with toothpicks and return to the oven for final cooking.

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