Monday, November 2, 2009

Roast Chicken with Chestnut Stuffing

Our farmers' market is officially over, our farm share has gone into its death throes (root veggies every other week for a few more weeks), the tomatoes I so carefully wrapped in newspaper and put in the basement rotted into green ooze, and we're back into Eastern Standard Time. So I made roast chicken last night. And, to really sock it to summer, I stuffed it. And then we cleaned out the veggie drawers of the fridge for anything even slightly edible, stripped the chicken carcass, and made stock.

Roast Chicken with Chestnut Stuffing

Chestnut Stuffing
Stuffs one large chicken with a little extra to go in the pan

1 lb. chestnuts
1 link sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
2 TBSP plus 1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 teas. salt
1 teas. ground black pepper
1 teas. garlic powder
1 TBSP dried sage
1 4 to 6 pound chicken

Preheat oven to 425. Cut a small slit in each chestnut so they do not explode in the oven. Place them on a cookie sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Remove and cool. Peel shells off. You may need a knife to slice into them. Make sure to remove the hard inner piece, right on the center ridge of the meat. Coarsely chop nuts.

Reduce oven temp to 400.

In a medium or large skillet, saute sausage, chopping it into small pieces as it cooks. When it is all grey, ~ 10 minutes, add 2 TBSP olive oil and onions and saute until onions are wilting, ~ 5 to 7 minutes.

When sausage and onions are cooked, place in a medium-sized mixing bowl and add chestnuts and all other ingredients. Stir until well mixed.

Place chicken breast-side up in a roasting pan. Stuff stuffing into chicken. There will probably be some leftover. I let it spill out of the cavity and onto the bottom of the pan. It will soak up the juices and get crispy; it's the best part.

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Put into 400 degree oven and roast until juices run clear when leg joint is cut into and temp at meatiest part is 165 degrees, very approximately 2 hours, depending on size of bird.