Serves 4 to 6
A whole stuffed chicken can be a marvelous dish for a special dinner. Who can resist the sell of an herb filled dressing and sizzling chicken just out of the oven? It is a simple and rewarding dish, guaranteed to please.
Giblets and neck of the chicken
2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 to 6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 stalk of celery, chopped
4 cups of fresh bread crumbs
½ teaspoon each, finely minced fresh rosemary, sage, savory and marjoram
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill weed
2 tablespoons minced fresh basal
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 raw egg, lightly beaten
Salt and fresh coarse ground black pepper to taste
Cover the giblets (liver, heart and gizzard) and the neck with cold water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a rapid simmer and continue to cook until all are extremely tender. Set aside to cool. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and gently sauté the onion, garlic and celery until lightly caramelized. Pick the meat off the neck of the chicken and chop fine. Chop the giblets as well. Combine all ingredients. Use a bit of the liquid the giblets were boiled in if the mixture seems a bit too dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
1 large chicken
1 cup chicken stock, broth or bouillon – or commercial
½ cup inexpensive cream Sherry
Rinse the chicken under cold running water and pat dry. You have often been told to snip off the end joint of the wing when preparing chicken because it will burn. This unfortunately allows the chicken to loose a lot of it’s juices. Instead, take that little tip end and simply tuck it back under the larger third joint of the wing. This makes the wing into a compact triangle that will roast well.
Rub the inside of the chicken with salt and then pack with the stuffing. You want to pack it firmly but not aggressively. If you use too heavy a hand, the dressing will be far to compact and will be soggy when cooked. Tie the ends of the drumsticks together with a piece of kitchen twine and set the chicken on a wire roasting rack in the roasting pan. Put about a cup of water of stock in the pan. This will prevent sticking and smoking and will also provide the basis for a basting liquid.
Cutting & Stacking Turfs - 1897
almost all cooking and heating was done over peat fires
Put in the center of a pre heated 350º oven. As the chicken begins to release it’s juices into the roasting pan, use this combined liquid to baste the chicken about every 10 minutes until done. Do the basting quickly each time so as not to loose too much of the oven’s heat. The chicken will be done when, if you poke between the thigh and the body, the juice that runs out is clear and not pink. Time will vary depending on size and age of the chicken, probably between 1 and 1 ½ hours.
Cottage near Limerick - 1901