Christmas Roast Chicken with a Thyme & Pancetta Upcycled Breadcrumb Stuffing


Prep time: 15mins  

Cooking time: 1 ½ hr 

Serves 8 


  • 300g Upcycled Breadcrumbs (You can use any variety – White, Wholemeal, Wholegrain or Artisan) 
  • 120g pancetta  
  • ½ leek (60g)  
  • ½ brown onion (100g) 
  • 2 large garlic cloves  
  • 5g ½ bunch Thyme  
  • 70g dried cranberries 
  • 60g Tuscan cabbage  
  • 50g smoked almonds  
  • 1 lemon 
  • 2 Tbsp butter  
  • 3 eggs  
  • 1Tbsp plain flour 
  • ½ Tbsp butter  
  • Cooking twine 



  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  2. Place the breadcrumbs in a large mixing bowl. Prep the ingredients for the stuffing - dice the pancetta into 2cm cubes, finely dice the onion, leek, and garlic. Pick and chop the thyme and the Tuscan cabbage; roughly chop the cranberries and the almonds. Set all ingredients aside.
  3. Bring a large frying pan to high heat, drizzle olive oil and sauté the pancetta for approx. 2-3mins until golden. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and leek and sauté for further 2mins, then add the cranberries, almonds and Tuscan cabbage. Cook for further minute and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper and zest ½ of a lemon.
  4. Place the cooked mixture into the bowl with the breadcrumbs, toss and mix well. Whisk the eggs and add into the same bowl; mix through until well combined. Melt the butter in a small pot or in a microwave.
  5. Using a paper towel, pat the chicken to absorb excess moisture. Place the stuffing mix into the chicken cavity until full and tie the legs together with cooking string or twine. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brush with some melted butter.
  6. Roll the leftover stuffing mix into 5cm balls, pressing them firmly together to prevent them scrambling. On a baking tray lined with baking paper, place the balls of stuffing down first and then the chicken on top.
  7. Place the chicken into the oven and turn the oven down to 160°C to cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from the oven and brush the chicken with more butter, then place back into the oven for another 45 minutes until chicken is fully cooked and golden brown. 
  8. Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. Place the stuffing balls onto a plate. To make the gravy, gently tilt the chicken on top of the baking tray to drain any residual juices. Scrape the tray for all the juices and oils and pour into a small pot. Add ¼ cup of water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the flour and butter and whisk for 2 minutes until it starts to thicken. Squeeze the juice of ½ lemon and serve the Chicken with the stuffing balls, lemon wedges and gravy.