Roast Chicken Stuffed with Gruyère, Bread and Sausage

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Roast Chicken Stuffed with Gruyere, Bread and Sausage

Gruyère is a good cheese to use for stuffing and for gratins because it both melts evenly and retains its essential character, adding its essence to the dish at hand. Here it contributes extra flavor and texture to a traditional bread-and-sausage stuffing for roast chicken.

 

Roast Chicken Stuffed with Gruyère, Bread and Sausage

 

For the stuffing:

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

2 Tbs. minced shallots

2 tsp. minced fresh thyme

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1/4 lb. (125 g) bulk pork or chicken sausage

3 oz. (90 g) Gruyère cheese, cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) cubes

3 to 4 baguette slices, each 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes

2 tsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

About 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375 ml) low-sodium chicken broth

 

1 chicken, about 4 lb. (2 kg)

1 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

 

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Choose a roasting pan just large enough to accommodate the chicken and place a rack in the pan.

 

To make the stuffing, in a fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter foams, add the shallots, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the cheese, bread cubes and parsley. Moisten with the chicken broth, adding just enough to bind the mixture together in a slightly sticky mass.

 

Pat the chicken dry and rub inside and out with the butter. Season with the salt and pepper. Pack the cavity snugly with the stuffing and truss the legs with kitchen string. Place the stuffed bird on the rack and roast until the skin is golden brown and the juices of the inner thigh run clear when pierced with a knife, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh without touching bone registers 160°F (71°C), about 1 1⁄2 hours. Transfer to a cutting board, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

 

To serve, scoop the stuffing from the cavity onto a platter. Carve the chicken into serving pieces and arrange them around the stuffing. Drizzle with juices from the roasting pan and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

 

Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cheese, by Georgeanne Brennan.

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