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.