If you’re wanting to avoid a mountain of leftover turkey and ham this Christmas, give this delicious roast chicken a try. It’s stuffed with a delicious Christmassy sage stuffing, basted with brown butter and honey and served with delicious pickled December cherries. It will serve between 4 and 6, but will serve even more if you have a few extra side dishes.  


1 whole Lilydale free range chicken, around 1.8kg

1 tsp dark soy sauce

salt and pepper, to season

120 g baby rocket

olive oil, to drizzle

2 cups cherries, halved and pitted

¼ cup red wine vinegar


5 slices wholemeal bread

1 large onion, finely diced

50 g butter

4 sage leaves, finely chopped

2 tbsp dried cranberries (optional)

½ cup chicken stock, or water

1 tsp salt

black pepper, to serve


50 g butter

6 sage leaves

1 tsp honey

1 tsp soy sauce


  1. Start with the stuffing. In a blender or food processor process the bread to coarse breadcrumbs. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add the butter and onion. Fry the onion for about 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Remove from the heat and add the breadcrumbs, sage, cranberries, stock, salt and pepper and mix well.
  2. Heat your oven to 120C (fan). Stuff the stuffing into the cavity of the chicken. You don’t need to close it. Brush the chicken with the dark soy sauce and season the skin well with salt and pepper. Place a piece of baking paper in the base of a small oven dish (or ovenproof frying pan) and place the chicken on top. Roast for 90 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is roasting, season the cherries with salt and pepper and stir through the red wine vinegar. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  4. For the glaze, heat the butter in a small saucepan until it turns golden brown. Remove from the heat and stir through the sage leaves, honey and soy sauce.
  5. When the chicken has finished it’s 90 minutes of roasting, increase the oven to 220C. Brush the chicken with the glaze and roast for a further 15 minutes, brushing with the glaze every few minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and rest for 15 minutes. Reserve any juices in the base of the roasting dish to serve with the chicken.
  6. To serve, place the chicken on a serving plate. Toss the rocket with a little olive oil and arrange around the chicken like a Christmas wreath. Spoon the cherries over the rocket and serve with the roasting juices.