Cooking a whole de-boned stuffed chicken has become a tradition for my family for Christmas. The first step before stuffing the chicken is to remove the bones. My technique is different from most professional chefs, a little more elaborate, but definitely more spectacular! The bones are removed from the opening in the bottom of the chicken, without cutting or breaking the outer enclosure. The stuffed chicken keeps its shape. I learned this technique for boning a whole chicken from my father, who was a very skilled butcher. It is not easy, but definitely worth doing for a special occasion.
For the best result use a free range naturally fed chicken, about 5 – 6 lb (4 – 5 lb after boning.)
1 whole chicken 5 – 6 lb (2 kg approximately), de-boned
see here how to de-bone a whole chicken
1 lb (450 gr) ground beef
1/2 lb (220 gr) ground pork
1/2 lb (220 gr) ground chicken breast
1/2 lb (220 gr) ground mortadella
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
grated zest of 1 orange
2 tablespoons pistachios
2 tablespoons pine seed
2 tablespoons raisin
2 eggs, beaten
2 slices white bread, soaked in milk and drained
3 oz (90 gr) parmigiano reggiano cheese, freshly grated
3 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (optional)
salt and pepper
1 spring thyme, rosemary, sage
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (120 cc) dry white wine
1 cup (240 cc) chicken broth
Separately pass all the meats repeatedly through a food processor fitted with metal blades until they are reduced to a fine paste.
Add all the stuffing ingredients to a bowl.
Combine until forming a uniform mixture.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Stuff the wing cavities first . . .
. . . then the thighs . . .
. . . and finally the body, until all the stuffing is used.
Close the openings with metal pins and kitchen string.
Preheat oven 360 F (200 C). Place the chicken in a oiled oven pan.
Add herbs on top of the chicken
Drizzle the extra-virgin olive oil. Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven.
Remove aluminum foil after about 1 hour.
When the chicken is browned, add wine. After the wine is evaporated add broth and finish cooking until inside temperature will reach 185 F (check with meat thermometer). The chicken will cook for a total of about 2.5 to 3 hours.
Remove the chicken from the oven and cool to room temperature. Remove pins and string. Cut away the wings and thighs.
Cut the chicken in thin slices.
Compose the chicken in a large serving plate.
Decorate with salad leaves, herbs, and orange slices.
Filter the sauces from the pan through a fine sieve. Remove excessive fat with gravy separator if necessary. De-glaze with a small amount of broth. Serve the warm gravy on the side.
You are now ready to serve your stuffed chicken for an elegant dinner.