- Posted February 17, 2013 by
Roast Chicken Stuffed With Sorrel
While roast chicken is fabulous even with little to no seasoning, it’s fun and exciting to dress it up a bit from time to time for a unique and extraordinary weekend meal with friends or family. Adapted from Country French Cooking by the editors of Sunset magazine, this recipe for roast chicken is stuffed with a mixture of butter, shallots, mushrooms, cream, breadcrumbs, Dijon mustard, basil, sage, thyme, parsley, sorrel, chicken liver, salt, and pepper. Filled with the flavors of the French Mediterranean, roast chicken stuffed with sorrel is best enjoyed with a hearty and robust French wine.
This recipe is inspired by the Bourbonnais region of France where sorrel is used widely for salads and for seasoning. If you can’t find sorrel in your local market, you can still make this recipe using spinach leaves instead although they have a stronger flavor. Often used as a salad green, sorrel can also be used as an herb and has a distinctly tangy and lemony taste. It is best to use sorrel leaves while they are young and tender. Instead of using lemons for stuffing chicken, sorrel does a nice job in imparting a zesty flourish to the dish.
For an exceptional roast chicken, use high-quality meat; choose the best bird you can find if possible. Select chicken that is labeled as a “roaster,” which are generally older birds with more flavor, muscle, and fat. Chicken rich in fat is ideal for roasting because it enhances the flavor of the meat and keep it moist and juicy as it cooks. The fat will eventually melt off in the cooking process, basting the chicken.
After it has been stuffed, always position the chicken breast side down in the baking pan so that the juices will gather in the breast meat. Turn the chicken breast side up halfway through the cooking to redistribute the juices and leave the flesh with plenty of moisture.
1 whole chicken (about 3 or 4 lbs.)
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon minced shallot or green onion
¼ lb. mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup fine dry bread crumbs
¼ cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon dried basil
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
¼ teaspoon ground sage
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 cups finely chopped fresh sorrel leaves (stems removed)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Finely chop the liver of the chicken and set aside. Rinse the chicken and pat dry.
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons butter. Add the liver and sauté for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Add the shallot and mushrooms to the skillet and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender. Add the breadcrumbs, cream, mustard, salt, basil pepper, sage, and thyme. Remove the skillet from the stove and stir in the parsley, sorrel, and cooked liver.
Stuff the chicken with the sorrel mixture. Place chicken, breast side down, in a roasting pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 25 minutes, or until an insta-read thermometer reads 160 degrees F.
After 20 minutes of baking, baste with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Wait another 30 minutes, and baste with the remaining melted butter, turning the chicken breast side up.
Remove the fat from the roasting pan juices. Pour the remaining juices into a bowl and serve on the side to spoon over the chicken.