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Video: Roasted Thanksgiving chicken

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    >> this morning on "today's" kitchen, back to basics, a turkey-free thanksgiving. if you're hosting a small gathering next thursday, you may want to skip the turkey and roast chicken instead. good morning to you, sir inspired by your grandma?

    >> we are going to make a stuffing. i have bread that i mixed with milk. i'm putting in some mushroom sausage. you can use onions or shallots. garlic. the garlic gives a good flavor, of course. some barley and some thyme.

    >> and egg yokes?

    >> actually an entire egg. and then we mix it very quickly like that, you put some salt and pepper to give of course some flavor to it.

    >> now if you're going to replace your turkey with chicken , is it a special chicken ?

    >> i recommend that you find a nice organic free range chicken , a big sized chicken . and then we are going to stuff the baby.

    >> you cut the kings off?

    >> i tell you why, because we're going to put the chicken on top of it.

    >> you push your stuffing down so you get in as much as possible?

    >> as much as you can. we'll have a little bit left over, but it's not a big deal .

    >> and you're going to thread the chicken ?

    >> can people see this?

    >> i'm going to do this on a cutting board . we started here, under the tail. so we're going right here, and then i'm going to go around the legs.

    >> why are we doing it that way?

    >> i do it once like this and then you're going to understand right away why, because that's where we're going to close the chicken and we're going to give a nice shape also to our chicken and also for the cooking.

    >> why does that add to the cook ing.

    >>> because that bread is going to cook very nicely.

    >> and where do you stick that? underneath?

    >> underneath. one here and one in the back.

    >> stick it in the oven, what's the temp?

    >> 400 degrees.

    >> 400 degrees for?

    >> about an hour.

    >> how do you know that it's done?

    >> i'll show you, when it's done, you have a little bit of droplets of --

    >> it has to be clear. if it's not clear, it means the chicken is not cooked yet. then you cut the string like that.

    >> is this no good now?

    >> that's going to be good. so i'm taking the string off. and then i'm going to cut it the french way, which is slightly the different than the american way . so you separate the leg like that. and then here is the breast, you separate the breast like this, and you don't slice like we do sometimes. because it becomes too dry very fast.

    >> how do you slice it?

    >> i'm going to show you.

    >> i'm annoying you.

    >> i'll show you if you shut up.

    >> no, no, please ask me. so you see, then it slides like this.

    >> oh, my gosh, i never would have thought about that.

    >> you can slice like that.

    >> and that keeps the moisture in?

    >> and it's going to be very moist and you can just fillet it. so we have some of the stuffing.

    >> we're running out of time here. so the side, we have a potato grrks grautin. it's very healthy. you put in the chicken here like that. and then we have some salad. use a garlic vinaigrette. and so it's a nice portion of chicken and we have some gravy that's going to go on top just to make it even more tasty and moist.

    >> they're weeping, it's so good, they want the food, eric. they will do whatever you want . thank you so much. great idea for somebody who doesn't have the crowd for a turkey. do it with a chicken .

    >> it doesn't have to be that big either.

    >> no, it does not, but we like it big. thank

TODAY recipes
updated 11/15/2010 4:01:31 PM ET 2010-11-15T21:01:31

Recipe: Roasted chicken with mushroom stuffing

  • 1 (5-pound) chicken
  • 3/4 cup fresh bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 ounces chicken liver, sautéed and chopped
  • 1 small fresh pork sausage link (about 2 ounces), casing removed and browned
  • 1/2 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons diced shallot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 cups chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Remove the wings and reserve.

Season the bird inside and out with salt and pepper.

Soak the bread in the milk. Squeeze out the excess milk from the bread and place in a large bowl. Add the egg, chicken liver, sausage, mushrooms, garlic, shallot, and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Season the cavity of the capon with salt and pepper and fill with the stuffing. Tie the legs together with kitchen string.

Place the wings in a roasting pan and place the chicken on top of the wings. Roast for 70 to 90 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the leg is pierced and the stuffing reaches 150 degrees F. Remove the capon to a platter and let it rest at least 10 minutes

Place the roasting pan over high heat and add the chicken stock to deglaze the pan, stirring the browned bits in the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil, and then remove from the heat. Strain into a small pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, carve the chicken and slice the breast meat and leg meat. Serve 2 slices of each and a spoon of the stuffing. Spoon the sauce over the plate and pass the extra sauce at the table. Serve immediately.

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