The stuffed chicken is one of the traditional Christmas dishes in much of Italy. An interregional classic that is cooked, although with very different fillings, in almost all regions.
the fillings Sometimes they are very simple, other times quite complex, but whatever the case may be. never more difficult to prepare than a regular meatloaf. The one we use is traditional in Tuscany and Piedmont and is the same one that Pellegrino Artusi recommended in his famous recipe book from 1891 (if you are curious, you can read the recipe here). Artusi defines it as “not a filling for good cuisine, but for the family”… which is exactly what is most popular today.
But there is no doubt that this stuffed chicken It is not an easy dish to prepare.. The problem is that it has to be boned. And if you find someone who tells you that it’s very easy, well! She’s teasing you. In fact, boning requires a minimum of experience: let’s say that the third or fourth time you will not have any difficulty. but the first time have it deboned by a butcher or an expert grandmother. However, if you want to try it, watch this video, which in our opinion is among the best for its clarity.
We deboned the chicken you see in the photos on this page and, since we were there, we also deboned the thighs and part of the wings. However, you can simplify by leaving the thighs and wings with the bones.
Aside from deboning, making a stuffed chicken presents no other difficulties.. Whatever meatloaf you are used to making, increase the breadcrumbs a little, add some vegetables and in any case you will have made a great filling for stuffed chicken.
To the extent possible, it is important Don’t use breadcrumbs, but rather breadcrumbs.. Which, revived with a little milk, helps to give air and soften the filling, leaving it compact. In the next photo our stuffed chicken (same as the large photo) after cutting it.
- 1 whole boneless chicken
- 2 sausages
- 100 g hard breadcrumbs
- 8 brown
- 1 shallot (or a quarter of an onion)
- 2 eggs
- 15 g dried porcini mushrooms
- dry white wine
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Boil the chestnuts (or cut them and cook them for 3-4 minutes in the microwave), peel them, peel them and grind them until they become a smooth paste. If they are very dry, help yourself with one or two tablespoons of milk
- Let the mushrooms soak in very little hot water. After fifteen minutes, we remove them with a fork (do not throw away the water) and chop them finely along with the shallot and a sprig of rosemary leaves.
- Soak stale bread in half a glass of warm milk for a few minutes. Drain and crumble into a bowl. Then we peel the two eggs and mix them with the bread, also incorporating the chestnut puree and the chopped mushrooms, shallots and rosemary. Season with ground pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Add a pinch of salt (in moderation) and mix.
- Now peel the sausages, crumble the pulp and add it to the rest of the ingredients. Add 3 tablespoons of oil and mix carefully, preferably with your hands, so that the mixture is homogeneous and the sausage meat melts and is well distributed. If you need to moisten it more, add a little of the mushroom soaking water. Finally test to see if you need to adjust the salt.
- Stuff the chicken with the mixture. When doing so, try not to leave air pockets in contact with the meat inside, but do not overdo it by compressing the mixture outwards, because it will increase a little in volume. Tie the stuffed chicken with kitchen string, trying to give it more or less the original shape. Complete by adding 2-3 sprigs of rosemary secured with string.
- Grease a not very large baking mold with very little oil, preheat the oven to 170° and cook the chicken in it for 60 minutes. About halfway through cooking, we remove it (quickly, immediately closing the oven so as not to lower the temperature) and moisten it in all its parts with the cooking sauce formed in the pan and diluted with a small glass of wine. Place the chicken back in the oven and finish cooking. If you end up needing to brown it more, increase the temperature to 210° (or grill it) for 7-8 minutes.
- Take the chicken out of the oven, wait for it to reach room temperature (otherwise you risk the slices falling apart) and finally cut it into slices approximately 1 cm wide.
The stuffed chicken should be served hot, moistened with the glaze obtained from the cooking juices as described below, in the yellow box.
The best seasoning for stuffed chicken (as for any roasted meat, including fish) is the sauce obtained from the “brown” fat and the burnt lumps left at the bottom of cooking. Kitchen scraps that should never be thrown away, but rather deglazed. deglaze is a technical term that means dissolve, mix.
To deglaze the cooking bottom of stuffed chicken, do this.
Remove the meat from the pan and add a little broth to the container, or (better) an acidic liquid: wine, vinegar, lemon or orange juice, beer and the like. 3-5 tablespoons are enough. Now heat over very low heat and, when the liquid begins to simmer – with a spatula – deglaze all the cooking juices, including the burnt crusts. Add a pinch of salt and (if necessary) reduce the sauce obtained very slightly.
At the end add a knob of butter or a little oil, mix and pour the sauce into a saucepan, letting it rest until it is time to serve the stuffed chicken. When reheating, use it to moisten the chicken slices directly on the plates.