Ricotta and Herb Stuffed Chicken

 

INGREDIENTS

1 whole roaster 4-5# (I use this universal symbol for lb(s)

1/3 C Parmesan cheese or sub pecorino (sheep) if lactose intolerant

12 oz Ricotta or sub sheep Feta if lactose intolerant

1 large egg

1-2 large cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp fresh basil, chopped (1 tsp dried)

1 tsp fresh marjoram, chopped(1/2 tsp dried)

2 Tbsp fresh italian parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp sun dried tomatoes, chopped 

 

RUB

Olive oil

Sea salt (coarse)

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp fresh basil, chopped (1/2 tsp dried)

1/2 tsp fresh marjoram, chopped (1/4 tsp dried)

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Butterfly the chicken by using poultry shears or a knife to cut along one side of the backbone. Cut along the other side and remove the backbone and tail. Spread the chicken open, skin side up. Press down on the chicken with the palms of your hands (or to release some tension, you can pound your fists) to flatten the chicken. Skewer neck skin to back. 

  2. In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta, Parmesan cheese, egg, parsley, garlic, 2 teaspoons of chopped basil, and 1 teaspoon of chopped tarragon and sun dried tomatoes. 

  3. Using a sharp chef's or paring knife and your fingers, loosen skin over top of chicken and drumsticks starting at neck edge. Carefully spoon cheese mixture under skin of chicken, pressing with your fingers to distribute evenly over the chicke and drumsticks. 

  4. Brush chicken lightly with oil; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon basil, 1/2 teaspoon tarragon, paprika, and a generous amount of salt. 

  5. Cook

Grilling method

Prepare grill for medium indirect heat. If using a gas grill, heat all burners on high until the grill is hot, then turn off the middle burner. If using a charcoal grill, bank the coals to one side of the grill and place a large aluminum drip pan underneath the grate on the side without coals, adding a couple cups of water to the drip pan so that the drippings don't burn.

Place the chicken, skin side up, on the cooking grate, away from the side with coals if you are using a charcoal grill, or above the middle burner if you are using gas. Alternatively, you can lay the chicken out on a rack in a disposable aluminum roasting pan and place the roasting pan on the cooking grate (this works well with gas grills and the charcoal) Cover the grill.

 

Oven Method

Preheat oven to 500°F. Place chicken, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Place in oven and immediately turn the heat down to 350°F.

 

6.  Roast for an hour to an hour and a half, until the juices run clear from the thigh when pierced with a fork. (Breast meat should have an internal temperature of 165°F, thigh meat should have an internal temperature of 175°F.) 

7.  Transfer chicken to a cutting board; let stand 10 minutes. Cut into quarters, cutting lengthwise and crosswise. 

 

Deborah Stanton

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