Three bird roast is a festive dish I usually make for Christmas lunch. It can be done the day before and it is very tasty served cold. This allows me to spread Christmas cooking over several days and avoid getting absolutely exhausted. It is also convenient and practical to be flexible and have the dish served cold on the menu for Melbourne’s unpredictable weather, when Christmas day can be very hot.
two skinless duck breasts
two skinless quail breasts
pitted prunes, I buy organic, because they are soft and juicy and do not need rehydration
stuffing (chicken thigh mince and vegetable mix with parsley added extra)
- 3 unpeeled garlic cloves
- 2-3 lemon wedges
- 2-3 table spoons garlic, red chili pepper and parsley paste
- 1 onion
- fresh parsley for stuffing
- fresh coriander
- unsalted butter
- salt and pepper for seasoning
For the stuffing ingredients I use chicken thigh mince, egg, onion, leek and cabbage, lightly pan-fried in butter with fennel seeds.
I usually prepare three bird roast on 24th of December, to have it served cold for Christmas lunch. I make stuffing and freeze prunes the day before, when we come home after picking up our Christmas order for deboned chicken, duck breasts and quails from our butcher. I do not think I am capable to debone chicken myself.
- prepare stuffing as described here, add chopped fresh parsley to chicken mince and vegetable mix (depending on chicken size you might have some stuffing left, which you can use to make meatballs and freeze them for later use)
- roll pitted prunes tightly in glad wrap, freeze them overnight
- place chicken, breast down, on oversize sheet of baking paper, so you can roll the bird from side to side easily
- prepare quail breasts (I use the rest of the quails to make filling for leek and quail ravioli)
- remove skin from duck breasts, save the skin for later use (it can be frozen)
- place duck breasts inside deboned chicken, so that they are just opposite chicken breast
- insert quail breasts under duck breasts
- add stuffing in small portions, placing it in the middle and spreading between chicken and quail breasts
- gently insert prunes in the middle, prunes do not freeze completely and sometimes I use chopstick which I place inside prunes to guide me and allow to place them in the middle of the stuffing
- do not put too much stuffing
- close all 6 openings (neck, abdominal cavity, legs and wings), I do using a needle and cotton thread
- rub salt and pepper into chicken skin, make sure there are no holes in the skin
- cover the bird in thin layer of butter and chili and garlic paste
- line deep roasting tray with aluminium foil, add lemon, garlic, garlic, sliced onion (not seen in the photo) and chili pepper paste
- add baking paper, make sure that 2 sheets of baking paper overlap, so that chicken skin never touches aluminium foil (chicken skin will stick to foil and it will break the skin)
- place chicken in a tray breast up
- add butter and fresh coriander
- wrap the bird first into baking paper and aluminium foil next
- start roasting in preheated fan forced oven at 190-200C covered in baking paper and foil for 40-60min. (depending on the size of the chicken)
- later open the foil and baking paper and roast the bird uncovered at 150-160C
- start roasting breast up, when the breast gets golden colour, take the tray out of the oven and carefully turn the bird breast down, to make the other side golden (it will help if extra long sheets of baking paper are used, so you can just roll the bird by moving the paper)
- let the bird stay breast side down when resting for at least one hour, the longer the better, to get all the juices penetrate the breast
- there will be plenty of liquid at the end of the roast, half of the juices will be absorbed after resting time
- refrigerate when completely cool
- slice the roast 2-3 hours before lunch and let it adjust to room temperature
The roast lasts for several days in the fridge and can be used as cold cuts with salads and in sandwiches.
It is not that difficult to make three bird roast with a careful plan. Chili peppers and garlic paste, as well as chicken mince stuffing can be made the day before. On roasting day you have to put it together, put it into the oven and don’t forget to change temperature, unwrap and turn the bird. It is delicious both warm and cold the next day.
All images are actual photos of our last year Christmas preparations and Christmas lunch. This three bird roast lasted for nearly a week and was delicious all way through.
This post is part of blog restructuring. With it publication I simultaneously delete the page with identical name.