Roast Chicken With Goat Cheese & Leek Filling

Roast Chicken With Goat Cheese & Leek Filling

Serves 4

1 whole roasting chicken (4 to 5 lb.)

The Marinade:

1 teaspoon “chopped” fresh thyme (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon dry white wine
Fresh ground pepper and salt (to taste)

The Chicken’s Filling:

2 tablespoons “finely chopped” Italian parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons “finely chopped” fresh thyme
2 cups fresh watercress leaves
½ cup chicken stock
4 small “thinly sliced” green onions (white part only)
2 inches “thinly sliced” green onion (green part only)
6 oz. Sonoma goat cheese (or French goat cheese)
2 “finely chopped” and cleaned medium leeks (white part only)
6 oz. “coarsely chopped” fresh mozzarella (or cow’s milk mozzarella)
Fresh ground black pepper (pinch).

Preheat oven to 400°F

In a small bowl, combine and stir all the marinade ingredients. Cut the tips off the chicken’s wings. Without ripping the skin, use fingers moistened with the marinade to separate the skin from the meat. Be patient as the skin is separated from the breast portion, thighs, and legs. Place the chicken in a large bowl and cover it with the marinade. The chicken should now marinade in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

Place a colander in the sink and, in a large skillet (over medium-high heat), bring some water to a boil. Now, immerse the watercress in the boiling water for only 10 to 15 seconds. Drain the watercress in the colander and rinse with cold water. Use a kitchen towel to wring the excess water out of the watercress before placing it in a bowl.

Over moderate heat, melt the butter in the skillet and stir in the leeks and onions; sauté until the items are tender. After removing the rind from the goat cheese, place all the remaining ingredients for the filling in a food processor or blender (including the contents of the skillet) and mix well.

Carefully, push the stuffing evenly under the chicken’s skin and pat the chicken to assist in spreading the stuffing under the skin. Finally, truss the chicken by tying the legs and wings to the body with string. The goal is to tie the bird so it becomes a tight package for baking.

Place the chicken on a rack within a roasting pan and cook for 15 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to 375°F and roast for 1 hour (basting every 15 minutes) or until the chicken is golden brown or its juices run clear after a cut under its leg.

Once cooked, place the chicken on a cutting board, remove the trussing, and quarter with poultry shears.

Diva Tip:

• Serve with fresh watercress for garnish.



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