Sunday, January 1, 2012

Chicken Cantanzaro Style

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
In an effort to make something stuffed for a pre-New Year's celebration, I decided to give Lidia's stuffed chicken recipe a try. To start, it is a relatively simple recipe and the ingredients she uses are fairly easy to find as well. It also allowed me to flex my deboning skills so it was something I was looking forward to preparing. I'm a bit skeptical about the amount of stuffing since to me, it seems a bit on the sparse side. I'm used to stuffing a bird where it looks like it's ready to pop. However, I'm trusting Lidia on this matter. 

Chicken Cantanzaro Style - Adapted*

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
3-4 lb roasting chicken
¼ cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp Italian parsley,
3 anchovy, fillets,
   finely chopped
zest and juice of
   1 lemon
½ tsp nutmeg, freshly
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup capers, drained
   and chopped
½ cup black olives
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
6 - 8 pearl onions, peeled
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2-3 tbsp sugar

To debone the chicken:  (verbatim from Lidia's blog)

Remove the giblets and any excess fat from the cavity of the chicken. Do not trim away extra skin, because you will need it to close up the stuffed chicken later, with the chicken breast up, slice along the neck cavity with a tip of the boning knife to find and expose the wishbone (or collarbone); loosen it and pull out. Turn the chicken over and, with a chef's knife, cut forcefully from neck to tail along both sides of the back bone, freeing it from the body (and saving it, plus the other bones and giblets, to make stock, of course). Now, with the bird still on its breast, pull apart the split sides and fold them open like a book. With the boning knife, cut under and detach the ribs from the inside flaps of the torso; cut the breast bone from the meat on both sides of the breast. Turn the chicken over, so the skin side is up, and press down on the now boneless breast to flatten the bird.

I actually went one step further and removed the thigh bone but left the drumstick intact. This added step just made it a lot easier to work with the boning knife when removing the ribs.

1. Combine the bread crumbs with the parsley, anchovies, lemon zest, 
    nutmeg, cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of capers in a small bowl. Drizzle 3
    tablespoons of the olive oil and toss with a fork until the crumbs are
    evenly seasoned and moistened. Preheat oven to 375°F. 

2. Season the chicken all over with the salt and lay it skin side down. Spread 
    open and spoon the crumb stuffing into the center and press it flat. Bring
    both ends together in a tight seam, closing the gap where the back bone
    had been. To keep them together, draw the loose skin from one side over
    the other side and pin them in place with toothpicks.

3. In a small roasting pan, lay the chicken breast side up and pour in the
    remaining olive oil. Bake uncovered for about 2 hours or until the chicken
    is golden brown. 

4. Scatter the onions all around the chicken and cover and bake for 20
    minutes more. At this point, the onions have become tender and the
    chicken has released all its juices. 

5. Add the remaining capers and olives and cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

6. Pour in the lemon juice and vinegar and bake for 10 to 15 minutes .
    Carefully lift out the chicken and slide it onto a cutting board.

7. Spoon out the olives and onions from the roasting pan and caramelize in a
    skillet over high heat. Set aside. Transfer the rest of the sauce into the
    skillet and boil until it thickens. Season with the sugar to neutralize the
    tartness of the red wine vinegar and lemon juice. Remove the toothpicks
    from the chicken and cut it into serving pieces. Scatter the onions and
    olives and pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

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