Stuffed Chicken Galore!

In The Kitchen: Stuffed Chicken

Stuffed Chicken Galore!

By Habeeb Salloum

Stuffed chicken with rice is the most favored way of stuffing chicken in the whole of the Middle East. Various versions of it are prepared in all parts of the Arabian Peninsula, which includes all the Arab Gulf countries and the lands of the Fertile Crescent. Hailing from that part of the world, my mother prepared various types of rice stuffing. Eventually, though, as the years rolled by, she began to use bread stuffing, making it once in a while only since my father never really liked it as he considered it strange. Yet, for us children, we liked both and as I grew in years and I traveled the world I added other ingredients to my stuffing for all types of fowls. From my storehouse of stuffed chicken recipes I suggest these since they cover a wide-range of chicken stuffed with a variety of ingredients — some a little exotic.

Our Homestead Stuffed Chicken

SERVES 6

On the farm this was Mother’s most often prepared stuffing.

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

One 4 to 5 pound chicken, thoroughly washed and dried

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 pound lamb or beef with a little fat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups split chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained, or 1 cup cooked chickpeas

1/2 cup rice

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

4 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds

1 1/2 cups water

Mix lemon juice, allspice, garlic powder, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt; rub both inside and outside of the chicken, set aside.

To make the stuffing, heat 4 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan then sauté meat over medium heat until it begins to brown. Stir in the onion and sauté for a further 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients, including the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil, cook over medium/low heat for  8 minutes, stirring a few times then allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Stuff the chicken, including neck opening, sew closed. Baste with the remaining butter. Roast covered for  1 ½ hours or until chicken is well cooked, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices. Serve chicken hot with its stuffing.

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Our Family’s Bread  Stuffing Recipe

SERVES ABOUT 6

This is my favorite bread stuffing for chicken that I often prepare.

One 4- to 5-pound chicken, thoroughly washed and dried

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons salt

3 cups toasted croutons

1 medium onion, finely chopped and sautéed lightly in butter until limp and just starting to brown

1 cup chopped roasted chestnuts

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 teaspoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon dried savory

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 cup water

BASTING

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup water

Rub chicken inside and out with a mixture of the lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of the salt, set aside.

Mix all the remaining ingredients for the stuffing, including the remaining salt.

Stuff the chicken including the neck, then sew openings and place in a roaster.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Mix all the basting ingredients then baste the chicken and cover.

Roast for one and a half hours, basting every 30 minutes (if basting juice finishes, baste with pan juices). Uncover and bake for a further 15 minutes or until chicken begins to brown.

Place stuffed chicken on a serving platter and serve with its stuffing.

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Stuffed Chicken
Stuffed Chicken

Rice and Nut Stuffed Chicken

SERVES ABOUT 6

I have prepared this succulent dish that I first tried in the United Arab Emirates according to my own taste.

1 whole (4 to 5 pound) chicken, thoroughly washed

3 tablespoons flour mixed with 1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cooking oil

1/2 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 tablespoons slivered almonds

4 tablespoons raw, whole cashews

4 tablespoons pine nuts

1/2 cup rice, washed and drained

4 tablespoons raisins, soaked for 30 minutes and drained

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon dried sage

4 tablespoons butter at room temperature

Thoroughly clean the chicken then rub with the flour/salt mixture, both inside and out, and set aside.

For the stuffing, in a saucepan, heat the oil then sauté the meat over medium low heat for 8 minutes. Stir in the onion and sauté for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the almonds, cashews, and the pine nuts then sauté for a further 3 minutes. Stir in the rice, raisins, salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of the cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon of the cloves, and 1 cup of the water. Bring to boil then cook over medium/low heat for 10 minutes, stirring a few times then allow to cool.

For the basting, in a small bowl combine the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the cardamom and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the cloves as well as the rosemary, sage, and the remaining water. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Stuff the chicken, including neck opening, then sew closed and rub all over with the butter then brush with some of the basting. Cover and bake for 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is well cooked, basting every 30 minutes with the baste mix. Serve chicken with its stuffing while hot.

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Stuffed Chicken
Stuffed Chicken

Chicken with Pomegranate Stuffing

SERVES ABOUT 6

The pomegranate seeds give the stuffing a tangy-delicious taste.

1 chicken, about 5 pounds

1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

2 teaspoons salt

5 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1 cup pomegranate seeds

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon sage

1/2 teaspoon rosemary

1/2 cup water

3 cups toasted bread, cut into  small cubes

Thoroughly clean and wash the chicken and dry it well, then set aside.

Prepare a basting by thoroughly mixing the olive oil, cumin, paprika, pepper, cayenne, coriander leaves, and 1 teaspoon of the salt, then set aside.

Prepare stuffing by melting butter over medium heat in a saucepan, then sautéing onion, garlic, and almonds, until onions begin to brown. Remove from heat, stir in remaining salt, pomegranate seeds, thyme, sage, rosemary, water, and bread cubes, thoroughly mix and set aside.

Rub inside of the chicken, including the neck opening with about a third of the basting juice, then stuff both the inside and the neck opening. Sew openings, then baste on the outside. Roast covered in a 375°F preheated oven until the chicken is well cooked,  basting every 30 minutes with the remaining basting juice. Serve chicken with stuffing and cooked rice.

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Stuffed Chicken
Stuffed Chicken

Chicken with Burghul Stuffing

Dajaaj Mihshee bi-Burghul 

SERVES ABOUT 6

Pleasure, to the Arabs, was defined by drink, clothes, sex, scent, sound, and food. Al-Baghdadi, a 13th-century historian, considered eating as the finest of all pleasures and therefore wrote a book on cooking. We do not know if Al-Baghdadi knew about chicken with burghul stuffing, but if he had, he would have considered it among the top of culinary delights.

1 large roasting chicken (about  5 pounds)

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup finely chopped onions

1 cup coarse burghul, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes, then thoroughly drained

1 cup chicken stock

1 cup chopped parsley

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Wash and dry chicken, then set aside.

Sauté pine nuts in butter until golden, then remove with slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve butter in pan.

To make stuffing, sauté onions in reserved butter until limp. Add burghul, then stirfry for few minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except cinnamon, cook over medium heat until stock is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then stir in pine nuts.

Stuff chicken and sew up, then place in a roaster. Brush with additional butter and cinnamon. Cover and roast in a preheated oven at 325°F for 2 1/2 hours. Remove cover, allow to bake until chicken turns golden brown.

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Stuffed Chicken
Stuffed Chicken

Meat Stuffed Chicken

Rellenong Manok

SERVES 4 TO 6

In the Philippines, the chicken used in this recipe is de-boned without piercing the skin, but due to the considerable work, this involves, I have kept the chicken as is without the process of removing bones. 

4 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

3- to 4-pound chicken, washed

1/4 pound ground ham

1/4 pound sausage, cut into  small pieces

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

4 tablespoons breadcrumbs

1 medium onion, finely chopped

5 cloves garlic, crushed

1 egg beaten

2 tablespoons raisins, soaked for  30 minutes and drained

2 tablespoons sweet relish

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup water

4 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine 3 tablespoons of the soy sauce, sugar, and lemon juice, then rub chicken in and out with mixture and marinate for 3 to 4 hours.

Combine ham, sausage, cheddar cheese, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, egg, raisins, relish, salt, pepper, and water to make stuffing.

Stuff the chicken, both back and neck, then sew closed. Rub with butter, place in a roasting pan and cover. Roast in a preheated 325°F oven for 2 ½ hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, remove the cover and continue roasting for 15 minutes or until chicken turns golden brown.

Take out drippings from the roaster and place in a small saucepan, add flour, garlic powder, and the 1 remaining tablespoon of soy sauce. Cook, stirring constantly while adding a little water to make gravy-sauce. Serve hot with mashed potatoes.

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Stuffed Chicken
Stuffed Chicken

Spicy Roast Chicken

SERVES 4

This type of Asian roast chicken is somewhat different. All the ingredients are not used as stuffing but rubbed both inside and out.

1 chicken, about 4 pounds, thoroughly washed and dried

4 tablespoons soy sauce

4 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground aniseed

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground fennel

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 cup boiling water

Place chicken in roasting pan, then set aside.

Combine remaining ingredients,  then rub chicken inside and out with  the mixture. Cover and roast for 30 minutes in a 400°F preheated oven. Lower oven heat to 350°F, then roast covered for a further hour or until the chicken is well cooked, basting with remaining basting juice, then the pan juices a number of times, roasting uncovered for the last 15 minutes.

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Mushroom Stuffed Chicken

SERVES ABOUT 6

Not the usual type of stuffing, this stuffing is delicious and wholesome. It takes longer to roast this type of stuffed chicken, but every minute is worth the wait.

One 4- to 5-pound chicken, thoroughly washed and dried

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons salt

1⁄2 cup butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

3 cups mushrooms, chopped

3 cups dry croutons

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1⁄2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried sage

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1 cup water

Rub chicken inside and out with a mixture of the lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of the salt, set aside.

Prepare stuffing by melting 5 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan then adding the onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Sauté over medium heat, stirring often for 8 minutes then remove from heat and allow to cool.

Stir in remaining salt, the croutons, oregano, nutmeg, cayenne, and ½ teaspoon of each of the following: pepper, cumin, sage, and rosemary, as well as ½ cup of the water. Let cool.

Prepare a baste by combining the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of the following: pepper, cumin, sage, and rosemary; as well as the remaining water. Set aside.

Stuff chicken including the neck opening, then sew and place in a roaster. Rub chicken with the remaining butter

Roast in a 375°F preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours, basting every 30 minutes (if basting juice finishes, baste with pan juices). Then bake uncovered for a further 15 minutes.

Serve hot with stuffing and mashed potatoes.

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Stuffed Chicken
Stuffed Chicken

Orange Stuffed Roast Chicken

SERVES 4 TO 6

The honey and oranges give the chicken a sweet zesty taste that opens the appetite.

One 4- to 5-pound chicken, thoroughly washed and dried

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons dried basil

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/2 teaspoon powdered sage

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoons salt

4 tablespoons lemon juice

3 small oranges, peeled and quartered

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup honey

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup undiluted orange juice

Preheat oven to 375°F

In a small bowl thoroughly mix the garlic, all the herbs, spices, salt, and lemon juice then rub the mixture on the inside and outside of the chicken. Stuff chicken with orange quarters and place in roaster atop a rack, breast up then add the water.

In a saucepan combine the honey, butter, and orange juice. Simmer together over medium-low heat until the mixture turns syrupy. Pour a quarter of the mixture over the chicken, saving the remainder for basting.

Cover and roast chicken for 30 minutes. Turn chicken breast down, reduce heat to 325°F and roast covered for another 2 hours, with the last 20 minutes uncovered, or until well-done, basting from the remaining baste, then from the pan juices every 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes then serve.

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Stuffed Chicken with Couscous

SERVES ABOUT 6

Although not widely known in North America, chicken couscous stuffing because of its delicious taste and simplicity to prepare, has a bright future.

1 chicken, 4 to 5 pounds, washed  and dried

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2/3 cup instant couscous

6 tablespoons butter, melted

3 tablespoons cooking oil

1/4 pound hot sausage, cut into small pieces

1 medium size onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 cup pulverized blanched almonds

1/4 cup raisins, soaked for 30 minutes and drained

1/2 teaspoon rosemary

1/2 teaspoon sage

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 cup hot water

Rub chicken inside and out with a mixture of the lemon juice and  1 teaspoon of the salt, set aside.

Cook couscous according to directions on package; then fluff and mix with 4 tablespoons of butter and set aside.

In a frying pan, heat oil, then stir-fry hot sausage over medium heat for  5 minutes. Add onion and garlic, stir-fry for another 5 minutes.

Stir-frying pan contents into couscous, add remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, almonds, raisins, rosemary and half of the following: sage, pepper, cinnamon, and ginger. Thoroughly mix to complete the stuffing.

Stuff chicken including the neck opening, then sew and place in a roaster.

Make a basting juice by combining  ½ cup hot water with the remaining sage, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and  2 tablespoons of butter then baste the chicken and cover.

Bake in a 375°F preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until chicken is well cooked, basting every 30 minutes.

Place chicken on a serving platter, serve immediately with stuffing,  the sauce from the roast pan and mashed potatoes.

 

Originally published in the January/February 2016 issue of Countryside & Small Stock Journal.

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