Roast chicken with Caesar-bacon stuffing

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PREP TIME

20 min

Makes

4 servings

* PLUS Cooking time: 10 minutes, Roasting Time: 120 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1.5 to 1.75 kg whole roasting chicken
  • 5 slices bread
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375F (190C). Remove neck and giblets from body cavity, if present. Pull off and discard any loose fat.
  • To make croutons, leaving crusts on, lightly toast bread in toaster or in oven. Cut into 1/2 inch (2 cm) cubes. Measure out 3 cups (750 mL) and place in a large mixing bowl. Cook bacon in a large frying pan over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Saving 1 tablespoon (15 mL) bacon fat, discard remaining. Drain bacon on a paper towel, then crumble bacon but not too finely. Set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in the large frying pan set over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often until onion has softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce. Add to bread cubes. Sprinkle with lemon peel, dry mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir until evenly mixed. Then stir in Parmesan and bacon. While mixture is dry now, it will become moist in the chicken.
  • Spoon stuffing loosely into breast and neck cavities. Fold skin flaps over stuffing and secure with a toothpick or small skewer. Place remaining stuffing in a buttered baking dish, cover and set aside. Using kitchen twine or heavy white thread, tie ends of chicken legs together. Place chicken in a roasting pan or baking sheet with shallow sides. Rub skin with the reserved bacon fat.
  • Bake in centre of preheated 375F (190C) oven for 40 minutes. Baste chicken with pan juices, then place extra dish of stuffing in oven. Roast both together, basting chicken occasionally with pan juices, until a leg moves easily when waggled and chicken is beautifully golden, from 40 to 50 more minutes. Remove stuffing and chicken from the oven and place on a cutting board. Cut string from chicken and discard. Scoop stuffing from breast and neck and add to the drier stuffing in baking dish. Loosely cover chicken. Stir parsley into stuffing and cover to keep warm. After chicken has set for at least 5 minutes, carve and serve with the stuffing. The pan juices are delicious drizzled over the chicken.

What could possibly be better than homemade bread stuffing than one infused with all the great-tasting ingredients in a classic Caesar dressing–smoky bacon, fresh garlic, gutsy Parmesan and homemade bread croutons, of course.

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