Maman’s Roasted Chicken

April 2013 157

One of my favorite dishes growing up was my moms roasted chicken. She never bothered trussing up her chicken. I used to then I learned you can save the time by ‘trussing’ it up with vegetables. Well propping it up is probably the correct term. Saves you the trouble of tying the bird up and then cutting it off after it’s cut. As you can see in the picture the wings are bound in place by halved onions and the legs are held up by potatoes.

Always cook whole chickens with your favorite veggies. I potatoes, onions, and garlic. The juices and fat of the chicken will confit the vegetables while cooking. It is simply delicious. Serve the chicken with a good salad and vinegar based vinegrette. I highly recommend adding a couple spoons of the chicken sauce to your salad. The chicken juice and vinegrette mingle quite nicely.

For the chicken you will will need salt, pepper, and olive oil. You can also add any spices/rubs that you like. Rosemary or adobo are just a couple of suggestions. Please feel free to experiment with different flavors. For this bird I rubbed it down with tumeric for an earthy flavor and to add a golden yellow color.

Many recipes call for barding the chicken with butter. Basically inserting pads of butter between the flesh and the skin of the bird. You can do this of course but with the stuffing it is entirely unnecessary as the fat from the stuffing will do all the work for you and make sure your bird is juicy.

  • 1 small onion (finely diced)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 2 sprigs parsley (chiffonade)
  • 1 sprig thyme (chopped)
  • 4 plain Italian sausages
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 can whole cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup crushed walnuts
  • 2 tbl of crème de cassis (optional)
  • 1 chicken liver (minced)
  • 1 chicken heart minced (if included with the chicken)
  • Salt & Pepper

Sweat the onion and the garlic, add your chicken liver, chicken heart, herbs and salt and pepper to taste.   If you are adding crème de cassis, stir that in next.  Reduce and remove from heat.

Let it cool and add your uncooked sausage meat.  Just remove the casings and mix in.  Follow this with your breadcrumbs, cranberry sauce and walnuts.  Mix well.

Handy tip:  At this stage it is good to make a little patty with some of the stuffing mixture and cook it off to taste your seasoning. You’ll be able to tell if you need to add more salt or pepper. 

Fill up the empty cavity of your chicken with the stuffing and  bake.  An average bird will take about 2 hours at 35o degrees.   Don’t forget to rotate it every 20 minutes.

– Maintenant manger!


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