chicken

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

Stuffing:

1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped fine
1 pound zucchini or summer squash, grated
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup pine nuts
4 tablespoons soft butter
2-3 sprigs each of fresh marjoram, thyme and Italian parsley leaves chopped
1 egg
1 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Chicken:

One 3 to 3 ½ pound chicken or larger
1 sprig each thyme, parsley and marjoram leaves, chopped
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚
  2. Grate zucchini and salt it. Drain in a colander for 10-15 minutes to remove water.
  3. Meanwhile heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a sauté pan and add onions and sauté for 30 seconds. Add garlic to pan and sweat onions with garlic until tender and translucent.
  4. Rinse the zucchini and squeeze dry. Heat another ounce of butter in a sauté pan and sweat zucchini in butter. Let cool.
  5. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Cut the backbone from the bird with kitchen shears. Lay and spread flat on a a wood cutting board (wood cutting boards are the safest to use with meat), skin side up. Using the back of the knife strike the breast bone firmly, breaking the breast bone, collar bone, wish bone and the rib cage. Gently loosen the skin with a pairing knife around the breast, legs and wings to prep for stuffing.
  7. Combine the herbs for the chicken in a small bowl and add the olive oil. Stir to combine.
  8. Place stuffing underneath the skin of the chicken. Rub herbed olive oil all over the skin of the bird. Salt and pepper bird to taste.
  9. Place chicken breast side up in a roasting or oven safe pan (like cast iron) and roast until internal temperature reaches 160˚, about an hour to an hour-and-a-half depending on the size of the chicken. Baste chicken as it browns.

Cook’s Note: Flattening a chicken will make it cook faster.