Roast Chicken with Ricotta and Herb Stuffing
Try this spectacular winter roast recipe.
1 size 14 free-range corn-fed chicken
100g ricotta, mopped dry with absorbent kitchen paper
Finely grated zest 1 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
25g butter, melted
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
100ml dry white wine such as Selaks Chardonnay
1. Preheat oven to 190oC (fanbake). Remove any lumps of fat from inside chicken carcass, then thoroughly rinse chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towels.
2. In a bowl, mix ricotta, lemon zest, rosemary, garlic, parmesan, 1/2 tsp salt and some freshly ground black pepper to taste. Use your fingers to make a pocket each side of the chicken breast between the skin and flesh. Tuck in the ricotta stuffing, massaging it into shape. Tie string around the parson's nose, then around the legs, then loop it twice around the whole chicken. Tie in a bow. This will keep the chicken in good shape during cooking and help keep it moist.
3. Put chicken in a shallow roasting tin, choosing one in which it fits snugly. Brush with melted butter and season with a little salt and pepper. Pour around 1\/2 cup stock and pour over wine. Cook chicken for about 1 1/4 hours, or until golden and cooked through, basting often and adding more stock from time to time; do not let the juices scorch.
4. When chicken is done, baste again, then transfer to a plate and let it rest for 10-15 minutes; it will be infinitely better served hottish, rather than piping hot, as the flesh reabsorbs the juices and is more succulent. It will also have more flavour. Tilt the roasting tin and let any fat pool on top. Scoop it off, then add 1/2 cup stock to the juices.
5. Cut chicken into joints, removing the legs first, then the wings, with some breast meat attached, and finally the two breasts. Arrange on a heated platter. Meanwhile, bubble up juices in the roasting tin, then pour over chicken.
Hints & Tips
Suggested accompaniments: potato mash and broccoli or broccolini tossed with a little butter and dusted with freshly grated parmesan.
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