Tuesday, October 4, 2016

ROASTED CHICKEN STUFFED WITH ITALIAN SAUSAGE, CANNELLINI BEANS & SUN-DRIED TOMATOES

This is a chicken cornucopia, overflowing with Italian sausage, cannellini beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and oregano. The stuffing is more than the chicken will hold, so put the excess into a small cast-iron skillet, and bake with chicken for 45 minutes. Molto delizioso!


1 t (5 ml) extra-light olive oil or grapeseed oil
2 links of Italian sausage, removed from casings
½ small yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, mashed
½ cup (125 ml) sun-dried tomatoes, diced
½ (14-oz/398-ml) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 t (10 ml) fresh oregano leaves
1 whole (organic, if possible) roasting chicken (3 ½ to 4 lbs/ 1.75 to 2 kg)
Zest and Juice of 1 lemon, divided
1 T (15 ml) extra-light olive oil or grapeseed oil
2 t (10 ml) paprika
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (250 ml) white wine
1 cup (250 ml) chicken stock
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
Fresh oregano sprigs, for garnish

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. 
Add the sausage and cook until brown, while breaking up with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes.
Add onion, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, beans, and oregano.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cook another 5 minutes.
Add zest and juice of ½ lemon and mix to combine.
Remove from heat and spoon into a bowl and set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C) degrees.

Place chicken in a roasting pan or large cast-iron skillet.
Spoon most of the stuffing into the chicken cavity.
Spoon the rest of the stuffing into a small cast-iron skillet, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.
Tie legs together with butchers’ twine to keep stuffing inside chicken cavity.
Rub oil on surface of chicken and season with the rest of the lemon zest, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Pour wine and chicken stock into the bottom of the pan and add the thyme sprigs.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes.

Remove foil and roast another 45 minutes.

Remove butchers' twine from chicken legs and place chicken with stuffing on a platter and garnish with oregano.
Spoon the extra stuffing onto platter below cavity.
Cover, loosely with the aluminum foil while making gravy.

Squeeze juice of second lemon half into roasting pan and heat the pan juices on the stovetop for a couple of minutes.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer and pour into a gravy boat to serve with chicken. 
Serve with a green salad or green vegetable and crusty bread.


Serves 4

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