Three Bird Roast – Gluten and Dairy Free

Gluten free Three Bird Roast has been on our Christmas menu for many years now. It is a very convenient and versatile dish for our Australian, occasionally very hot, Christmas. I do the roast the day before, let it rest overnight, and use as the main course in the form of cold cut with fresh salads. Three bird roast lasts several days in the fridge, it is wonderful cold or reheated, with any side dishes.


In my original recipe butter is used generously on chicken skin, before the roast goes into the oven, and cabbage is used to prepare chicken mince and vegetable stuffing, together with onions and leeks. However both butter, and cabbage, are not on the list of the allowed ingredients. When I decided to modify three bird roast recipe for this blog, I did not worry much about the cabbage, I was sure that what cabbage brings to the dish, could be replaced by extra leeks, but I was concerned about the final taste of the roast without butter. I am happy to admit, that the last three bird roast, made for Christmas lunch, with extra leeks, no cabbage and no butter, was actually the best ever.


The few changes I made to the recipe, to compensate over the lack of butter and cabbage, did wonders to the taste and texture of the dish. This time spice preserve was prepared with only garlic, sweet chilli peppers and bird’s eye chilli, without parsley. It was more mild in taste this time, so I added more of it. I also added fresh thyme and fennel seeds to the roast to enhance the flavours. Three bird roast was left it in the oven for longer – the chicken was larger size this time. As the result of all these small changes not only the stuffing in the roast, but even breast meat was amazingly soft and tender.



  • deboned chicken
  • two skinless duck breasts
  • two skinless quail breasts
  • stuffing (chicken skinless thigh mince with onions, leeks, spicy preserve and fresh parsley, added extra)
  • 3-4 table spoons spicy preserve (this time I used the one prepared without parsley in it)
  • fresh coriander
  • fresh thyme
  • good pinch fennel seeds
  • 2 table spoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper for seasoning


  • 700g chicken thigh mince
  • 2 table spoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 3-4 leeks, I used 7 baby leeks
  • 1 egg
  • 1 level table spoon cumin powder
  • 2 table spoons spice preserve (contained garlic, sweet red chilli pepper, hot chilli pepper)
  • 1/2 bunch fresh parsley
  • salt and ground black pepper for seasoning
  • organic prunes, pitted (if dry, they have to be rehydrated)



  • prepare stuffing as described here, using ingredients from the list above
  • add chopped fresh parsley to chicken mince and vegetable mix (depending on chicken size you might have some stuffing left, which you can use to make meatballs and freeze them for later use)
  • place cling wrap on the working surface
  • spread chicken mince stuffing in 1 cm thickness layer
  • place pitted prunes in the middle of this layer
  • cover pitted prunes with chicken mince stuffing and roll them together tightly in glad wrap, freeze the roll for several hours or overnight in the freezer (it is done to make it easier to position prunes in the middle of the roast, prunes alone would not freeze to be hard enough)

to assemble the roast

  • place chicken, breast down, on oversize sheet of baking paper, so you can roll the bird from side to side easily (or use 2 sheets of baking paper to turn chicken from side to side)
  • rub salt, black pepper and spice preserve inside chicken
  • prepare quail breasts (I use the rest of the quails to make filling for leek and quail ravioli)
  • remove skin from duck breasts, save the skin for later use (it can be frozen)
  • season duck and quail breasts with salt and pepper, use spice preserve on their surface
  • place duck breasts inside deboned chicken, so that they are just opposite chicken breast
  • insert quail breasts under duck breasts
  • add stuffing in small portions, placing it in the middle and spreading between chicken and quail breasts
  • gently insert frozen roll with stuffing and prunes into the middle
  • do not put too much stuffing
  • close all 6 openings (neck, abdominal cavity, legs and wings), I use a needle and a silk thread
  • gently rub salt and pepper into chicken skin, make sure there are no holes in the skin
  • cover the bird in thin layer of spice preserve
  • line deep roasting tray with aluminium foil
  • add 2 generous sheets of baking paper, make sure that 2 sheets of baking paper overlap, so that chicken skin never touches aluminium foil (chicken skin will stick to foil and it will break the skin), baking paper will also help to turn the roast in the process of cooking to brown both sides of the roast
  • add half of fresh thyme, fennel seeds and olive oil
  • place chicken in a tray breast up


  • spread extra spice preserve over chicken breast, place another half of fresh thyme and fennel seeds, add fresh coriander
  • wrap the roast with baking paper first, aluminium foil second
  • make a tight parcel
  • bake the roast in preheated to 200C oven for 80-90min, depending the size of the chicken
  • take the tray out and open the parcel, exposing the roast
  • reduce the temperature to 160-170C and roast chicken open for another 30-40 min, until breast skin becomes light brown colour
  • take the tray out of the oven and using baking paper turn the chicken breast down
  • bake 30-40min, until chicken back also becomes light brown colour
  • switch the oven off and leave the roast to cool and to absorb all juices
  • when the roast is barely warm, transfer it to another dish, do not add juices to the roast when transferred
  • when the roast is completely cold refrigerate it overnight
  • cut the roast cold from the fridge 1-2 hours before serving, best served at room temperature


We have this delicious roast with fresh vegetable salad without dressing, or simply with fresh vegetables.



I often use red cabbage thinly sliced, to add texture and colour to the salad, but it is not an essential ingredient to this salad and can be omitted altogether.

Three bird roast can be kept refrigerated for 3-4 days, and frozen if kept for longer period of time. Its taste and texture remains the same after defrosting.


2 thoughts on “Three Bird Roast – Gluten and Dairy Free

    1. Since I have learned how to close the gaps in the skin, the process of preparation is not difficult at all. It also suits me well with the option to spread and enjoy my Christmas cooking and not to be overwhelmed on the Big Day. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

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