A golden gorgeous chicken served with giant stuffed gnocchi, roasted tomatoes, garlic and rocket.
1.5kg floury potatoes
1.5kg ripe tomatoes
2 bulbs of garlic
1 bunch of basil (30g)
red wine vinegar
1 x 1.5kg free-range whole chicken
50g plain flour
200g ball of smoked mozzarella
1. Preheat the oven to 180C fan-forced (200 conventional). Scrub the potatoes, chop into even-sized chunks and cook in a large pan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until tender. Halve the tomatoes and place in a large roasting tray. Break in the unpeeled garlic cloves. Pick a few pretty basil leaves for later, then stuff the rest of the bunch into the chicken cavity and add the chicken to the tray. Season with sea salt and black pepper, drizzle everything with 2 tablespoons each of red wine vinegar and olive oil, then toss well, rubbing all that flavour into the bird. Sit the chicken directly on the bars of the oven and put the tray of tomatoes beneath it. Roast for 1 hour 20 minutes, or until the chicken is golden and cooked through.
2. Meanwhile, drain the potatoes, mash, season and mix with the flour. As soon as cool enough to handle, divide and roll into 12 equal balls. Cut the smoked mozzarella into 12 chunks, poke one chunk into each ball, and seal. Place all the balls on an oiled 25cm x 35cm baking tray and roast at the bottom of the oven for the remaining 1 hour, or until golden. Remove the chicken to the tray of tomatoes and allow to rest, then squeeze a few garlic cloves out of their skins and mash into the tray juices. Sprinkle over the reserved basil leaves, then serve with the giant gnocchi and rocket, drizzling the garlicky juices over everything. Joy.
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