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Roast Stuffed Chicken

Remove the giblets from the chicken, unwrap, place on a small plate, cover loosely with plastic food wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. Pull all excess fat from the body and neck cavities of the bird and discard.

Combine the garlic, salt, paprika, and 1tbsp of the olive oil, beating until smooth; rub this all over, inside and out. Place the bird in a shallow bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Next day, prepare the stuffing: In a large heavy skillet set over moderate heat, saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil and the lard for 5 minutes until glassy; add the minced giblets and pork, turn heat very low, and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring to break up the chunks of pork. Cover, and steam all for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the breadcrumbs, eggs, olives, paprika, parsley, and pepper in a very large bowl and toss well to mix. When skillet mixture has cooked for 20 minutes, put on top of the bread mixture, drizzle the Port over all, and toss well.

Now add just enough of the chicken broth to moisten the stuffing nicely – it should be moist, not soggy. Preheat the oven to very hot, 232C, gas mark 8, 450F.

Spoon the stuffing first into the neck cavity of the chicken and enclose by skewering the neck flap against the back of the bird. Now upend the bird and spoon the stuffing lightly into the body cavity donÕt pack it in; skewer the opening shut, and truss the bird. Wrap any remaining stuffing in aluminium foil and refrigerate for the time being. Rub the bird well with 1tbsp of the remaining olive oil, arrange breast-side up on a rack in a large shallow roasting pan, and roast uncovered for 20 minutes.

Lower the oven heat to moderate, 177¡C, gas mark 4, 350¡F, brush the bird well with 1tbsp of the remaining oil, and roast uncovered for about 30 minutes per pound, brushing with the final tablespoon of oil midway through the roasting period.

When the bird has only 40 minutes more to cook, pour the 1cup white wine over it; also, lay the packet of stuffing on the rack beside the roasting pan, and bake it while the bird finishes roasting.

The chicken will be done when it is richly browned and a leg moves easily in its hip socket.

Lift the bird to a large heated platter and remove all skewers and string. Open the packet of stuffing and wreathe around the chicken. Garnish, if you like, with clusters of green and black olives. Pour the pan drippings into a small heated gravy boat and pass separately. Accompany with plain buttered green beans.

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– Ingredients –

5lb roasting chicken, with it s giblets 2.2kg
1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed
1tsp kosher or coarse salt
1tbsp paprika
4tbsp olive oil
1cup dry white wine (preferably vinho verde) 1/2pt/280ml

For the Stuffing:

3 large yellow onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4cup olive oil 2floz/70ml
1/4cup lard (hog lard, not vegetable shortening) 2oz/50g
chicken giblets, minced
1/2lb ground lean pork shoulder 225g
4cups soft bread crumbs 8oz/225g
4 hard-cooked eggs, shelled and chopped
1/2cup coarsely chopped pitted green olives
1tbsp paprika
2tbsp minced parsley
1/2tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4cup dry Port wine 2floz/70ml
1/2cup chicken broth 1/4pt/140ml

– Author –

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