A good bread stuffing will never go out of style and it's the perfect way to use up stale, unwanted bread. It steams the chicken from the inside while also taking up a lot of roasting juices that might otherwise be lost. The result is a bird that's both moist and delicious.
1/2 loaf stale white bread (about 8 slices), crusts removed
100g unsalted butter, plus extra for the chicken
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt, plus extra for seasoning
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh herbs (sage, parsley and thyme work well)
1/4 cup milk
1 whole free-range chicken (about 1.6kg)
1 lemon, cut into eighths
2 carrots, halved lengthways
1 brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1. Cut or tear the bread into one-centimetre cubes or chunks. Fry the finely chopped onions in half the butter until softened. Melt the remaining butter in the frying pan. Mix melted butter and onion through the bread, add salt and herbs. Moisten the stuffing with the milk until it comes together into a mass.
2. Heat oven to 190C. Stuff the chicken with the stuffing and tie the legs and parson's nose together with kitchen string. Place the pan trivet, lemon and vegetables in the base of a roasting tray and lay the chicken on top, breast side up. Pour half a cup of water into the base of the tray.
3. Spread the skin of the chicken with a little extra butter and season well with salt. Roast the chicken for 75 minutes or until the skin is golden-brown, and then rest for another 15 minutes in a warm, draught-free place. Serve the chicken with the stuffing and a crisp green salad.