[Not So] Simple Recipe: Stuffed Chicken Roll
I do like simplicity in making of the food – easy to make, reasonable prep time, limited number of ingredients – definitely all my preferences when it comes to cooking. But the interesting thing is that in any craft, cooking included, once you master a skill, it becomes simple (you can argue if you feel like it). Of course it becomes your personal simplicity – for the people who don’t practice the same art, your personal simplicity looks quite complicated.
The recipe I would like to share today falls in this exact category – it is essentially very simple – once you master the first step. I call this dish Chicken Roll – and roll it is, made from the whole chicken. The difficult first step is deboning of the chicken. I will not inundate you with the whole procedure of deboning – there are plenty of videos on internet where you will see all the step by step instructions. The key to make it simple? Practice, of course. Do it a few times, and the idea of deboning of the chicken becomes much less intimidating. And you can do quite a few different dishes once you will master that skill.
I’m not sure how this technique is taught in the culinary school – and if any professional is reading this blog (that is a scary thought!), feel free to ridicule my approach. The way I learned to debone the chicken (or any bird for that matter) is by putting the bird breast side down and first making the cut along the spine, so it looks like this:
Once you made that first cut, you start slowly cut along the bones, using boning knife, separating the meat and pulling it back, so it looks something like this:
The reason I suggest doing it slowly is that you want to avoid cutting through the skin. There will be few challenging moments, where you will need to get through the joints, the one by the leg and the one by the wing – you just need to cut around them and then you will be able to cut through. Also, I suggest simply cutting off first two parts of the wings – there is not enough meat inside to try to debone those. In the end (takes me about 15-20 minutes to complete the process), you will end up with deboned chicken, which will look like this:
From this moment on, your cooking becomes very simple! You need to decide on your stuffing – anything goes! You can use other meat as a stuffing, whether raw or cooked. You can use mushrooms. You can use broccoli. You can use couscous. You can use rice. You can use quinoa. You can use any combination of the ingredients. The keys is to use a limited amount, as you still need to make the dish into a roll. You season the chicken inside, put your stuffing in, roll is lengthwise, tie it up with the butcher’s string and … voilà! Roast and enjoy! See, I told you it is simple : )
For this particular chicken roll I used carrots and chicken sausages. Here is the recipe:
Chicken Roll, stuffed with carrots and chicken sausages
Prep time: 30 minutes. Cooking time: about 1 hour (20 minutes per pound)
1 large whole chicken, deboned
3 large carrots
1 lb chicken sausages or chicken sausage meat
1 tbsp olive oil
cotton Butcher’s string
Serve: cold or warm, both should taste good.
Debone the chicken using the suggestions above and internet video as a guidance. Slice carrots lengthwise:
Season the chicken inside using salt, pepper and any seasoning herbs your heart desires. I also used truffle salt, which imparts a bit of a mushroom flavor (it smells mostly by itself, you get very little aroma in the food):
Ahh, most important part – have a glass of wine – cooking is a lot more enjoyable when the wine is involved!
I had some leftovers of Hooker Chardonnay form the previous day – it was delicious – just a touch of butter, vanilla, nice acidity – a perfect complement for any cooking.
You can now preheat the oven for 375F. Place carrots inside of the deboned chicken, then take chicken sausages, take them out of the casings and place on top of carrots. Yes, sausage meat would be easier to use in this case, but we have only one store in the town which sells sausage meat, and I didn’t feel like going.
The only steps left are to make a roll – lengthwise!, as you don’t want any skin inside – tie it up with butcher’s string, rub with olive oil, add salt, pepper and herbs on top and roast! Roast in the oven at 375F, uncovered, for about an hour ( estimate a 20 minutes per pound of meat without bones).
The result should look like this:
And this is how the roll looks inside:
That’s all I have for you for today. Let me know what do you think about this recipe. Would you make something like this? Have fun and cheers!