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Elizabeth o connell roast chicken
Photo: Harry Weir

O'Connell Family Recipe: Elizabeth's Roast Stuffed Chicken

The perfect roast chicken recipe from one of Ireland's most famous culinary families.


Mrs O'Connell was a woman who loved picnics, she always had one with her on journeys with her family and, as the story goes, once brought all of the kids for a picnic on Christmas Day on a nearby hill from their home. This Roast Stuffed Chicken recipe is one Elizabeth O'Connell remembers her mum loved to make for these picnics.

"Mummy would come to see me in boarding school in Wicklow almost every weekend and always bring a fabulous picnic; the highlights being a roast chicken in a food flask, which kept it warm, it was so delicious. And also her very special brown bread and her delicious chocolate cake." – Elizabeth O'Connell

Yield: Serves 6 picnic-style


  • Free-range or organic chicken
  • Small onion, finely chopped
  • Bunch of spring onions, finely chopped
  • 4 rashers, chopped
  • 170g/6oz breadcrumbs
  • 110g/4oz approx butter
  • Herbs: a small bunch of thyme, a bunch of curly parsley, 1 leaf of sage
  1. Method
  2. Sweat the spring onions, onion and rasher in the melted butter on a low heat covered with greaseproof paper, until they are soft and cooked, but not brown.
  3. Add the breadcrumbs to the onion mix and chopped herbs, making sure the mixture is moist enough. If not, add some more melted butter.
  4. Leave the stuffing to cool before putting it into the cavity of the raw chicken.
  5. Put in lots of stuffing – it’s our favourite bit on the plate for picnics!
  6. Cook in a preheated oven at 180°C/350F for approximately one-and-a-half hours or until the juices run clear around the leg.

"Enjoy our favourite family dish of roast stuffed, warm chicken... guaranteed to be very popular for picnics!" – Elizabeth.