So, the coundown to Christmas has begun and how nice is this weather, it actually feels like Christmas. I was complaining last week that there was no Christmas atmosphere this year but since the weather became really cold and crisp it has turned all Christmassy:) The tree is up and the princess is amazed by it, we have to stand in front of it about 10 times a day and just point at all the lights and the babababababa balls, I know everyone says it but it really is so much better with little ones around. Our last day is this Sunday and we close until Jan 3rd – yipeeeeeeeeee!! It will be so nice to just relax because even if we are not in La Cucina there are always phone calls and one of us is always popping in just to keep an eye on things so it will be really nice just to switch off. I don’t know how we will manage when we open a second business, we will have no life!!!!

I know most of you only have eyes for turkey at the moment but I’m sure a roast chicken might feature somewhere over the holidays and I wanted to share this recipe with you as an alternative to the regular roast chicken. This recipe is based on Ursula Ferrigno’s spatchcock poussin recipe and I have to say it was one of the nicest recipes I have ever had for roast chicken, It was so tasty and the combination of flavours work so well together and it is really easy to prepare. I served it with roast potatoes done in goose fat which is available from all supermarkets these days.


what you need:

 – 1 medium to large chicken. I used an Organic, corn-fed chicken from Superquinn. There really is no comparison in taste and the main difference is the colour of the meat. The meat in the legs should be brown not white.

 – 2 tbsp olive oil

 – 4 rosemary sprigs

 – sea salt and black pepper

 – 350ml white wine – dry


 – 150g ricotta cheese

 – 55g gorgonzola cheese – I know a lot of people don’t like blue cheese but you really don’t taste it, it just adds a great flavour.

 – 55g grated parmesan cheese or fontina cheese

 – 4 slices mortadella finely chopped(optional) Mortadella is an Italian cold meat, it’s available in Superquinn or any Italian deli.

 – a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley chopped

 – 1 tbsp marjoram – I haven’t seen any of the fresh variety in Limerick???? I used dry that one of our Polish staff gave me.

 – 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage

 – 25g melted butter

what to do:

 – preheat the oven to 220 degrees

 – to make the stuffing, place the ricotta, parmesan, gorgonzola, mortadella, herbs and butter in a bowl and mix.

 – gently ease the skin from the breasts of the bird and spoon the stuffing into the area between the skin and meat. I rubbed whatever was left all over the outside of the bird. Brush the chicken with olive oil, season and top with a sprig of rosemary.

 – place the bird in an oven tray and pour over the wine. Roast for 25-30 mins, reduce the heat to 180 degrees and cook for a further 15 mins until the chicken is cooked through.

 – to make your potatoes, par-boil your potatoes in plenty of salted water. Heat your goose fat in a tray over a high heat, add a couple of sprigs of rosemary and unpeeled garlic cloves. Add your potatoes and transfer to the oven and cook  for 30-40 mins. 


buon appetito!!