Is there anything better than a juicy, tasty, roasted chicken for Sunday lunch?
Yes! There is!
This my friends is not any old stuffed chicken. I made it using Dorie Greenspan's Sausage-Stuffed Cornish Hens
, our French Fridays with Dorie recipe for this week. Unfortunately, I could not find Cornish Hens so I stuffed a chicken with the most amazing white sausage and herb stuffing.
But let's talk about the bird first. I had never heard of Cornish Hens before reading this recipe. And then after I read it, I thought that they must be some ultra small and fancy game birds, like quail or pheasant, that roam the English countryside. In any case something that I would never be able to find in the humble Zagreb butcher shops. As it turns out Cornish Hens are not that fancy, wild nor elusive, and are not from Cornwall - at least not entirely! They are just a breed of chicken. A cross between the Cornish and the Rock Hens.
Nothing fancy here but they are, indeed, smaller, have more white meat and cook faster than your everyday chicken.
And as I had expected I was not able to find them or anything like them in the market here. But I did not despair. I chose a nice free-range chicken from my chicken lady at the market, stuffed it and put it in the oven.
I tweaked Dorie's recipe quite a bit, again, to serve our dietary preferences - see gluten and lactose free. So no butter and instead of normal bread I used a few leftover pieces from the Gluten Free Spring Herb Buns I made earlier this week. And that's when I got the idea to add a lot more fresh herbs and spring onions to the stuffing.
Herbs in the bread and herbs in the stuffing. Genius!
The stuffing came out just amazing. Moist, rich in flavour and so very fragrant! From now on this is going to be my go-to recipe for every time I need to stuff a chicken!
Have I told you how much I love this cook book? I have? Well I am going to say again...
I just love it and I have already made all the recipes in it. Most of them are gluten free, so no extra effort is needed from my part to adapt them and are so quick to prepare. But the most important trait of these recipes and Jamie Oliver's cooking at the moment, is that they are so extremely flavourful without the need to add a lot of fat or processed food ingredients. Just use lots of fresh herbs and spices and the result will be extraordinarily powerful.
Like these potato gratin. Made in under 15 minutes and flavoured with fresh sage, chives an onions.
To see how my fellow Doristas liked this recipe, or to join our little online cooking group, please click here.
Sausage Stuffed Whole Roasted Chicken
Adapted from "Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours" by Dorie Greenspan
1 whole chicken
1 onion, chopped
400gr white sausages, casings removed and chopped finely in a food processor
1/2 stale gluten free fresh herb bun or any 2 slices of other gluten free bread
1 large egg
1 cup mixed fresh herbs (dill, mint, spring onions, parsley, basil), chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine like a Viogner
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400F/200C degrees.
Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a big oven going skillet or pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion for about 2 minutes. Add the sausage and cook for 5 minutes, breaking up any lumbs that might form. Remove from the heat and let it cool.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg and herbs. Season and add the bread. Mix everything very well and add the sausage from the skillet.
Wash and pat the chicken dry with some paper towels. Salt and pepper the insides of the chicken and spoon in the stuffing. Don't over-stuff the chicken. If you have any left over stuffing, sauté in a pan over medium heat for 5 - 10 minutes until the sausage is fully cooked.
Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper. Put in the ovenproof skillet, add a cup of water, cover with foil and put it the oven.
Roast the chicken for at least 50 minutes, checking it regularly and basting it with its juices. The chicken is ready when the juices run clear if you prick the thigh at the thicket part.
When the chicken is ready, move it to a serving dish. Put the skillet over high heat and when the juices start to bubble pour in the wine. Let is boil away until the liquid is reduced by half. Pull the pan from the heat and strain the juices. Serve the chicken with the sauce.
Recipe from "Jamie's 15-Minute Meals" by Jamie Oliver
800gr (1.7 pounds) potatoes, peeled
3 onions, peeled
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chicken stock cube
1/2 a bunch of fresh sage
1 tablespoon chopped chives
100ml soja cream
30gr Grana Padano cheese, grated
Slice the potatoes in the food processor, using the fine slicer tool, or with a mandolin. Put them in a medium pan with boiling water and cover them with the lid. Boil for about 10 minutes, until they cook but still hold their shape.
Slice the onion in the food processor, using the fine slicer tool. Put the in a pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, crumble in the stock and season with salt and pepper. Tear in the sage leaves and sauté until they become translucent, adding some water if needed.
When the onions are ready, tip them into a large roasting pan. Drain the potatoes well and arrange them in a flat layer over the onions. Check and adjust the seasoning. Pour in the soja cream and sprinkle the cheese over.