This can be for gluten free or non gluten free. Up to you.
I love stuffing that is cooked inside the chicken or the turkey. LOVE IT. I am not a fan of it cooked in a casserole. Meh, whatever. That’s just cooked bread. That’s not stuffing. But I’m a bit paranoid about the whole salmonella thing, so I’m not going to stuff the poultry, I’m going to just whine about it. Then I started googling how to make the stuffing TASTE like it was in the bird, and was told to pour the drippings over the stuffing before baking it in the oven (Take out turkey, pour drippings on stuffing, bake while turkey rests). That was pretty darn good. But what about chicken? I don’t get many drippings, and I don’t want the chicken to sit on the counter for 45 minutes while the stuffing cooks. What to do, what to do. Butterfly the chicken. Problem solved. I made this on a Sunday. It’s such a perfect wintery, Sunday dinner. So easy to do, I don’t know why we don’t make stuffing more often!
I made a loaf of Gluten Free bread using Pamela’s Amazing bread mix, but you can just buy a loaf of bread from your grocery store bakery, too. Cube it, toast it in the oven on 350 or 400 until it dries out some. Doesn’t have to be hard croutons like the mixes they sell.
Sauté up some finely chopped/diced celery onion and carrots (one onion, one rib celery, one carrot), mix them with the bread (about four cups), One egg. Some Poultry seasoning (1 tablespoon) and chicken broth (about 14 ounces, but just enough to moisten the bread, not to make it soggy). Make a foil “boat” and place in the roasting pan, mound the stuffing in the boat. Cut the spine out of the chicken and discard. Open the chicken up and push a bit to sort of crack the breastbone (doesn’t have to be perfectly flat. Lay the chicken over the stuffing. Salt chicken on both sides, oil it or butter it. I pour a little bit of broth in the roasting pan to keep bits from burning.
Cook at 450 for 30 minutes, then rotate the roasting pan, and cook for another 30 min or until thermometer stuck in the thigh registers 170, and the stuffing is 160 at least. When the chicken is turned, I may baste with melted butter, and pour a bit more water or broth in pan, just enough to keep bits from burning.
Serve it up with vegetable of your choice (I like carrots) and maybe mashed potatoes if you don’t mind a double starch.
For some reason, the chicken is delicious. I don’t brine it at all, just salt it all over. I think the stuffing gives it a taste that is subtle, but good. Don’t wait for Thanksgiving to have your stuffing!
For dessert, poor man’s black forest cake.
Bake a chocolate cake using a mix you like, but should be a darker chocolate flavor. I use Pamela’s Gluten Free Chocolate Cake which is excellent. You’ll need a two layer chocolate cake, square or round. If you only have a 9×13, use it and cut the cake in half to make two square layers. Take a can of cherry pie filling (I use Comstock More Fruit Cherry). Drain the cherry’s and spread the thick juice on one layer. Poke the cake with a toothpick or skewer multiple times so the juice will get into it. Let it sit for a little bit, 30-40 minutes to try to soak in there. Spread the cherry’s over one layer. Place other layer on top. With a good mixer, beat 2 cups of heavy whipping cream with 2 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla until stiff peaks form. Frost cake with this. Dust sides of cake with grated dark chocolate. Garnish top with dark chocolate shavings (or mini chocolate chips if you don’t want to shave chocolate) and maraschino cherries.
It’s not authentic, but it’s pretty fecking good. Because of the whipped cream frosting, you will need to store in the fridge.
This is a homey, semi-fancy dinner. Good for a family Valentine’s Day.