Roast Chicken with Baby Bella Mushroom Stuffing (recipe follows) – Roast Chicken with Baby Bella Mushroom Stuffing is such a great recipe if you’re a mushroom fan – which I am. The stuffing is more mushroom then bread which is something that I love about it. Not that I’m anti-bready stuffing, but I just super love mushrooms. Also, I like that they stay nice and moist in this recipe because I’ve had quite a few mushroom stuffings where the poor little mushrooms become like little dehydrated mushrooms while they’re roasting. These stay super duper fat and juicy and yummy in this recipe – yay! If you happen to like your stuffing where it gets all yummy kind of crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside then you will either want to bake the stuffing in a separate casserole (like don’t stuff your chicken), or you can do the barely in the cavity and mostly flowing out of the chicken presentation (that’s the way my Mom always used to do it when I was little). When I make roast chicken and stuffing (whatever the flavor), I like to give everyone the option on their stuffings so I put half in the chicken and half into a small souffle dish (I think it’s a two cup dish). That way, everyone can have their mushroom stuffing the way they like it the most. Another thing I’d like to mention about this recipe, is that I use a really cool technique for flavoring my roast chicken with a compound butter. You put the compound butter under the skin. This is one of those things that you learn in culinary school or when working with a Chef ;). Putting the flavoring ingredient that you are using under the skin makes a huge difference in the end taste of the meat because the flavors don’t really make it through the skin. Soooo, if your putting say your dry rub or compound butter just on the outside of the skin, it really won’t do much for the flavor of the meat underneath- although the skin may be delicious. The technique is explained in step four, but it is easier to show you in video form, so if you can, I’d like to invite you to watch the “how-to” video for this recipe (coming next week). Happy cooking everyone!
Compound Butter for chicken
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoons brown sugar
4 Tablespoons butter
2 teaspoon sherry
1 (5-6 pound) chicken
For the Mushroom Stuffing
2 cups bread cut in cubes (french bread is best)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 stick butter (1/4 cup)
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
baby bella mushrooms, rough chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 – 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
1. Combine all of the ingredients for the compound butter in a small bowl except the butter and stir them together. Add the butter and mash/stir it in. If you have a food processor, this is a lot easier because you can just put everything in there and mix it for a few seconds. I used my mini-food processor for this part.
2. Get your chicken. Remove the neck and any internal organs that may be in there. If you would like to make a sauce out of them, feel free, I won’t be doing that today so I am just discarding them.
3. Rub half of the compound butter into the chicken’s cavity focusing mostly on the area under the breast.
4. With a small rubber spatula, carefully lift the chicken’s breast skin from the meat. Using your hand, place 1/2 of the remaining rub onto each chicken breast under the skin. Check out the “how to” video to see me do this. This is the awesome technique I was talking about earlier.
5. Cover the chicken and place it in the refrigerator while you make your stuffing.
6. Pre-heat your oven to 400°F.
7. Toss your cubed bread with the teaspoon of olive oil and salt and pepper.
8. Bake your bread cubes at 400°F until they are golden brown. This will take about 5 minutes. When they’re done, put them to the side to cool.
9. While your bread is toasting, melt the butter in a large saute pan.
10. Saute the carrot and celery in the butter (sprinkle them with a little Kosher salt (like 1/2 teaspoon) and pepper) for 3 minutes, then add the shallots and garlic. Saute for about one minute.
11. Add the mushrooms (add a tiny more salt (like 1/2 teaspoon). Saute them for another 4-5 minutes. Add the parsley. Saute for another minute or so.
12. Combine the cubed bread with your mushroom mixture in the pan. Stir it around. Add the thyme and stir.
13. Add enough chicken broth to make it moist – start with 1/4 cup and work your way up from there. I used almost a cup, but it varies each time I make this. The amount you need is going to depend on how much liquid was in your mushroom mixture and how toasty your bread was so you will have to use your own judgement on this. Add the sherry. Taste the stuffing and decide if it needs more salt or pepper. It should be OK, but now’s your chance. Also, remember you’ll be putting it in your chicken which has salt in it, so don’t over salt.
14. Stuff the chicken with the stuffing. Take the left over stuffing and place it in a baking dish. You can serve it on the side. Also, you don’t have to stuff your chicken. You can bake your stuffing separatly.
15. Roast your chicken at 400°F until it’s done. It should have a temperature of 165°F in the thickest part of it’s thigh. This will take about 1 1/2 hours depending on the size of your chicken. Remove it from the oven when it’s done and cover it with foil to keep it warm and to allow the meat to rest. Here is a link to more information on safe internal cooking temperatures according to the FDA – FDA Site
16. You can use the pan drippings to make a sauce if you’d like.
Please enjoy this “how-to” video!