Stuffed roast chicken (Pollo ripieno)
I am not going to explain to people how to roast a chicken. This is something that more or less everybody has mastered. The special thing in this recipe is the stuffing and the gravy, which is made in the same way my grandmother used to prepare it. Try it with a good quality chicken like a free range, possibly corn fed. Then, you can try the same stuffing with pheasant, turkey or any other bird. Accompanying this dish with a nice tray of roast potatoes is a good idea.
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- 1.5 Kilograms (3 lb) Chicken
- 2 Large carrots (to make a carrot bed)
- 150 ml (5 fl oz) White wine
- 60 ml (2 fl oz) Water
- 30 ml (2 tbs) Extra virgin olive oil
- A couple of rosemary sprigs
For the stuffing:
- 150 grams (5 oz) Breadcrumbs (finely grated)
- 50 grams (2 oz) Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
- 50 grams (2 oz) Butter
- 4 grams (1/2 a level tsp) Sugar
- 5 Sage leaves
- Salt and ground black pepper
- Put the breadcrumbs into a large bowl.
- Add the Parmesan cheese.
- Add a small pinch of salt (remember that the Parmesan cheese is already salted).
- Sprinkle with black pepper.
- Add the sugar and now stir altogether.
- Add the sage leaves (no more than 4 or 5).
- Put the butter into a small pan.
- Melt the butter and let it to bubble for few seconds (do not let it to become brown).
- Add the butter into the large bowl of ingredients.
- Stir thoroughly. You will notice that the butter is not enough to moist the stuffing mixture, so go to the next step and follow the instructions.
- Pour some boiled water (the equivalent of half a glass) into the small pan you used to melt the butter and swirl the pan.
- Add this water gradually into the large bowl.
- Stir thoroughly until all the stuffing mixture is moist. Remember that the mixture should not be too dry, but also not too wet.
- Stuff the chicken cavity with your mixture.
- The mixture you have prepared should be enough to stuff the whole chicken.
- Stitch the bottom with a fine string to secure the stuffing.
- Cut the carrot in thick stripes and make a bed with them. The carrots bed will keep the chicken separated from the liquid sauce in the bottom. Then, add the white wine.
- Add the olive oil.
- Add the rosemary sprigs.
- Add the water.
- Put the chicken onto the carrot bed and then put everything in the oven. A roughly guide is to calculate 40 minutes per kilo (2 pounds 3 ounces) plus a further 30 minutes at 190ºC (375ºF).
- After 20 minutes, take the chicken out of the oven and prick it with a fork all around. This will allow the chicken juices to fall in the bottom and create the gravy.
- Before putting the chicken back into the oven, baste with the sauce you have in the bottom. Remember to baste every 20 minutes until the end.
- This is the basting after one hour. You will notice the sauce in the bottom is richer than the previous basting.
- With my oven, I let the chicken roast for about 2 hours.
- If during the cooking the breast becomes brown too early, cover with foil as shown above (right).
- After 2 hours, cut the chicken in half with kitchen scissors.
- Put the chicken back into the oven for about 10-15 minutes so that the surface of the stuffing gets a kind of golden brown colour. This is the last touch in having everything perfectly cooked.
- Buon appetito!
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!