Baked Stuffed Chicken
0 min Main Ingredient: N Cuisine: GreekCooking: One hourStart to finish: 1 day min
For the Stuffing:
1/4 lb ricotta cheese (can be substituted with manouri cheese)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb fresh spinach, blanched, squeezed dry and chopped
3 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or substitute with kefalotyri)
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
1 clove garlic very finely minced
Sea salt, fresh ground pepper and freshly grated nutmeg
For the Chicken:
1 chicken about 3 lb (preferably free range)
1 tablespoon Romeu extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Step 1Combine all of the stuffing ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly using your hands.
Step 2Preheat an oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut off the wing tips from the chicken at the second joint. With kitchen shears, split the back, starting at the tail going all the way to the neck, by cutting along one side of the neck. Then cut along the other side of the neck to remove the neck and a section of the spine down to the middle of the back. Turn the chicken over with the front of the chicken, or skin side, facing up. Spread the chicken out. Fracture the breast bone and the rib-cage structure by pressing down hard on the breast bone. Turn the chicken over and pull out the breast bone. Turn it over once again, so that the front of the chicken, or the skin side, faces up. Using the tip of a small knife, make a small slit in the skin of the abdomen on each side of the chicken between the thigh and the lowest part of the breast, and push the drumstick up so that its tip goes through the slit. When the bone starts to come through the slit, the meat will still be attached to the bone and by pulling the drumstick through the slit, the chicken leg is being turned inside-out. So, it is necessary to carefully separate the chicken meat from the bone using a small knife, thus releasing the bone for removal. Discard the bones or set aside for when you make chicken stock. Return the chicken meat back to its original position inside the skin without the bone.
Step 3Once that is done, use your fingertips and, beginning at the neck, gradually and carefully loosen the skin from the breasts and legs, without tearing the skin. Insert the stuffing with one hand between the skin and the flesh by introducing small amounts of stuffing at a time, and with the other hand evenly distribute and mold the stuffing from the outside. Truss the chicken with chicken string.
Step 4Rub the chicken skin with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a shallow, oval, baking dish so that the dish size will just hold the chicken. Roast for about 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 and continue to roast, without turning the chicken, for approximately 40 minutes or until the juices run clear when pierced at the thigh joint. Baste the chicken with the pan juices at least three or four times during the last 30 minutes of roasting. Remove the chicken to a carving board. With a knife, cut the chicken into quarters by carefully opening and cutting the skin from around the thighs to the back and then from the top of the breast to the bottom lengthwise.