Roast Chicken “stuffed under the skin”

Like many chefs, what I crave on a day off is the comfort of a simple roast chicken. However, in this blog you probably noticed we aren’t in the business of keeping it that simple, are we? Stuffing it under the skin is a great way to infuse more flavor into a chicken while keeping the breast meat moist and the skin crispy. The delicious stuffing consists of sauteed mushrooms, chestnuts and pine nuts deglazed with Cognac and mixed with panko, herbs and butter. You could pull out all the stops and replace the wild mushrooms with black truffle and foie gras but let’s keep it budget friendly for now. If you just won the lottery by all mean, go for the black truffle, you won’t be disappointed.

Our stuffed chicken agreed to pose “au naturel” for a photo. You won’t see this anywhere else. Coop scoop?

When you’re ready to stuff the bird run your fingers under the skin to detach it (put gloves on!) and pipe the stuffing into the “pocket” in between the breast meat and the thighs. Press it down with your hands to make it even. Tight up your chicken and roast it like you would a normal bird. Or keep it in the refrigerator overnight uncovered to dry the skin, that will result in an extra crispy chicken.

  • Roast Chicken “stuffed under the skin”

    • Serves 4
    • For the chicken:
    • 1 free-range chicken (about 3 1/2 lbs)
    • salt and pepper
    • For the stuffing:
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 2 shallots, chopped
    • 2 ounces wild mushroom, chopped
    • 1/2 cup chestnuts, cooked and chopped
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted and chopped
    • 1 black truffle, cleaned and chopped (optional)
    • 1/4 cup Cognac
    • 1 1/4 cup panko
    • 1/4 cup herbs, such as parsley, chives and chervil, chopped
    • 8 ounces butter, softened
    • For the chicken jus (optional):
    • 2 tablespoons flour
    • 2 cups chicken stock
    • For the chicken:
    • Preheat oven to 375′F
    • Rinse the chicken in and out, and pat dry with paper towels. With gloves on, gently work your fingers in between the skin and the flesh of the chicken to create a pocket.
    • Place the stuffing (see below) in a piping bag with a 1/2 inch round tip and pipe the mixture evenly under the skin of the chicken making sure to pipe some around the thighs area as well. Press the stuffing down to even it out. Tight the chicken and place it on a roasting pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brush with a little melted butter.
    • Roast the chicken for 1 hour (the internal temperature should reach 165′F), basting with the pan drippings every 20 minutes. Let the chicken rest 10 minutes before carving. Serve with the chicken jus on the side (see below).
    • For the stuffing:
    • Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a pan. Add the chopped mushrooms and saute until tender. Add the chopped chestnuts and saute a few minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Remove to a bowl. In the same pan, melt 1 more tablespoon of butter and add the shallots and garlic. Saute until tender but not colored. Carefully deglaze with the Cognac (be careful, it will flame up!). Simmer until nearly dry. Add to the mushroom/chestnut mixture and let it cool. Add the black truffle now if using. Add the pine nuts, panko, herbs and remaining softened butter and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
    • For the chicken jus:
    • Degrease the roasting pan except for 2 tablespoons of fat and add the flour. Place the roasting pan over a medium fire and cook the roux for a few minutes. Deglaze with chicken stock and bring to a simmer, scraping down the bottom of the roasting pan. Simmer until the chicken jus is reduced and thickened. Strain. Check seasoning and serve with the roasted chicken.
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  • Stella

    This is quite amazing, the skin looks like Peking duck′s :)

  • Stacey Snacks

    S, 

    I like to rub herbs and butter under the skin (sans gants!) and it is Henry’s favorite……I will try it your way with crumbs and all!S.

  • Haumea

    Ono ono Stephane!!

  • http://cestpasmoijeljure.wordpress.com Dr. CaSo

    I am completely and utterly jealous of your chicken and I want some NOW!!!! This looks way too tempting and it’s a crime to post stuff like that on the internet, I think!

  • http://willtravelforfood.com/ mayssam @ Will Travel for Food

    truffles? chestnuts? Cognac? I believe that makes it a haute couture stuffed chicken, non? Regardless, it looks absolutely delicious!!

  • http://pickyin.blogspot.com Chang Pick Yin

    I believe you meant pose “au naturel” :D I made mine with tomato and marjoram butter before but your tip to dry it out in the fridge is something I should consider!

  • Tampopo3000

    Parfait pour le poulet rôti du dimanche :)

  • noemi reka

     Mmm…mouthwatering!

  • http://www.anhsfoodblog.com/ anh@anhsfoodblog

    oh my! This is totally awesome! I need to try this approach soon!

  • shirley@kokken69

    I look on in envy when I see people roasting or cooking whole chickens… I haven’t cooked a whole chicken yet… because.. I don’t know how to cut it up after that! I should really get the wet market chicken seller to show me… 

  • Tasteslikehome

    I have a cookbook with chicken recipes and this is one of the suggested ways of roasting – with the stuffing under the skin. I have never gotten around to doing it but now that I’ve seen yours, I am suddenly, mad and desperate to do this. Thanks for your continued awesomeness!

  • http://bananamondaes.wordpress.com/ jules

    A chicken stuffed with truffle would be amazing. Watched Heston Blumenthal the other night who swears by soaking his chicken in brine before cooking to tenderise the meat!

  • Nancy

    Oh my……my stomach is grumbling and my mouth is watering! I will mmake it this week.

  • Yue Cheong

    I love chicken & it looks so delicious!

  • Anonymous

    Mahalo, Haumea! How do you like my Hawaiian, eh? 

  • Anonymous

    Yes, it came out very crisp!

  • Anonymous

    Let me know how you like it with the stuffing!

  • Anonymous

    Is it? Is it? .. oops! :)

  • Anonymous

    Next time I’ll get my chicken on the runway with some feathers. :)

  • Anonymous

    Oops. Fixed it! Thaank youuuu. :)  

  • Anonymous

    Et puis les restes le lundi sont pas mal non plus! :)

  • Anonymous

    Shiiirley. Just do it. Buy a chicken. Roast it. And cut it up like it was a science experiment. You’ll see it’s very easy. Do it.  

  • Anonymous

    I’m not sure brining is necessary here, but why not. And yes, putting truffles under the skin is amazing. 

  • Anonymous

    You’re too kind, Cynthia. Thank you. 

  • Anonymous

    Yes!! Go for it!

  • http://www.foodgal.com/ Carolyn Jung

    Prettiest roast chicken — ever. ;)

  • http://www.julianaloh.com/blog Baobabs

    omg this is such a great idea!!! and it looks AMAZING!

  • Valentina

    I’ve been following your blog for a while and I must finally take a moment to tell you how absolutely stunning it is. The food, the photography, the writing — it’s all gorgeous.

  • Anonymous

    You made my day, thank you! :)

  • Michelle

    I love the way you plated the chicken.  Gorgeous. 

  • http://breadetbutter.wordpress.com/ Su-yin

    I’ve made many a (skin) stuffed chicken/turkey, but not considered adding chestnuts or panko to the butter mix. But that’s why I have you. Trying this the next time I roast a chicken, which won’t be long from now!

  • http://www.ouichefnetwork.com Oui, Chef

    I’ve done herbed butters under the skin, but never a full-blown stuffing…you are a genius!  Now where did I put my black truffle?

  • http://pickyin.blogspot.com Chang Pick Yin

    Shirley! There’s no need to worry on that bit, just watch how to do it on YouTube! (That’s how I learned… :D )

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Su-yin! Let me know how you like it!

  • Anonymous

    No genius, here. I chop carrots for a living. :P

  • Anonymous

    You’re right! They have EVERYTHING on YouTube. That’s how I learned how to tie a tie. :)  

  • http://twitter.com/emiglia Tomatokumato.com

    Wow Stéphane… that’s gorgeous. Do you ever run out of ideas?

  • Beng_marinas

    Amazing! You have just put the roast chicken on a totally higher level. Congratulations for being an inspiration

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much!

  • Anonymous

    haha.. I usually run out of time, first. 

  • Matt

    LOVE stuffing under the skin. And holy heck, that first shot is my favorite food photograph from anyone, anywhere this year. 

  • http://twitter.com/Kaypachatravels Mica Ivealis

    I’d been on the road and not reading your latest stuff and as I am getting hungry this is what I decide to look at? Can you make scratch and sniff please? YUM!!

  • Anonymous

    haha.. I hope the next generation of computers will have a scratch and sniff feature! :)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, Matt. Coming from you that’s the best compliment, EVER!

  • Saher_alhakary

    hi how are you zenchef,i have a question for you,if you don’t mind to answer,,,,,what is chicken breast stuffing consist of? and how you make it?

  • John Koppole

    Hi guys, i have tryed this recipe. Its too good. i would strongly recommend to u all.

    Check this recipe too ….. Stuffed Chicken Roast

  • Clare

    Would this work with a turkey (would need more stuffing of course)? Are there any modifications you would suggest?