1 Rangitikei free range whole chicken
30 gms butter, melted
1 teaspoon sumac
40 gms butter
1 onion, finely diced
1 ripe pear, finely diced
2 rashers streaky bacon, finely chopped (or smoked chicken rashers)
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme leaves
3 slices day old bread, whizzed into fine crumbs
1 egg, beaten
4 small pears, halved and cored
Sea salt & pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 175°Cs .For the stuffing heat the 40 gms butter in a medium frying pan and sauté the onion, pear, bacon, hazelnuts and thyme leaves over a gentle heat until tender and fragrant. Remove from the heat, cool five minutes then add the breadcrumbs and egg and season well. Fill the pear halves with the stuffing.
Combine the melted butter and sumac – brush the pears with the butter then brush the chicken all over and secure the legs with kitchen string. Roast the chicken in a lined roasting dish for 40 minutes then nestle the stuffed pears around the chicken (baste the chicken with any remaining butter) and continue to cook for a further 30-40 minutes until the chicken is golden and cooked through and the pears tender.
*or alternatively fill the chicken cavity with the stuffing and cook a further 15-20 minutes or gather the stuffing into a log shape and wrap in baking paper then foil. Roast alongside the chicken for the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Serve the chicken on a platter surrounded with the stuffed pears.