Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Chicken in Every Pot

As I've stated previously, I'm not fond of chicken; I find it boring, and without flavor, so when I found the Smart chicken, I was sold--it actually has a flavor!  But, being me, I also thought that it could use a little help, so one day I decided to take out the breast and rib bones, stuff it with some amazing chanterelles and roast this little chicken into culinary heaven. 

To bone the chicken, I decide to leave the leg bones, and wings (too difficult to rip out) and used a pair of Joyce Chen scissors and a sharp boning knife to take out the rib and breast bones, then cut along the thigh bone and separated it at the drum stick joint. 
I know, not that great to look at, but at this point, sprinkle with salt and pepper all over.  This is the only seasoning the interior will get, so get it right!
About a pound of assorted wild mushrooms sauteed in olive oil with thyme, shallot and white wine until all the liquid in the pan evaporates.  Taste for seasoning--it's OK to over-season here, this should be highly seasoned.

I put the mushrooms into the food processor and coarsely chopped them, then added about 1 cup soft bread crumbs, and 1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley (see my note)

Wrap this baby up, using silicone bands.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 10 to 12-inch oven-proof saute pan or skillet over medium high heat, and brown the skin on the chicken.  Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake the chicken for 35 to 45 minutes until the stuffing registers 170 degrees on an instant read meat thermometer.  
Pretty Bird!  At this point, the chicken should rest for about 10 minutes loosely covered with aluminum foil. 

Cut the legs off the chicken, then slice through the chicken breast area using a carving knife.  

I made a little pan sauce, using some chicken demi-glace, white wine and butter.  Served this with roasted potatoes (I surrounded the chicken with little Yukon golds, quartered) and sauteed escarole. 

OK, you're saying to yourself, I don't want to bone a whole chicken---I get it!  Try using boneless breasts, with the skin on--the skin will help to keep the meat moist.  The stuffing should fill 6 breasts---you will want to cut a pocket into the thickest part of the breast, and push 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling into the pocket.  You won't need to tie these babies with the silicone bands. Saute and bake as directed. 

Italian parsley has a flavor; it's worth chopping--the curly parsley in the supermarket makes a nice bouquet, but it doesn't have any flavor.  If you think that you won't use all the parsley at once, wash it and spin it dry in a salad spinner.  Chop the parsley in your food processor or with your chef's knife.  Transfer the parsley to a zipper-top plastic bag with a piece of paper toweling to absorb any excess moisture.  You can use the parsley directly from the freezer, it will stay beautifully green.  (Sorry, there aren't any other herbs that this works with!!)

I hope you have had a great day today; I'm getting energized knowing that our Italian family will be here later in the week--molto bene!!

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