It is time for another recipe featuring a chicken fresh from our family farm! Nick loves roasted chicken with crispy skin, so I am working to obtain the crispiest-skinned bird possible. To this end, I patted dry my thawed bird first thing in the morning, rubbed the skin with salt, and let it sit in the fridge all day long to dry out. This trick does really make a difference, so if you enjoy crunching down on a tasty piece of chicken skin, give it a try!
The spice rub that I developed for this recipe incorporates a few of the traditional herbs found in poultry rubs, but also adds a bit of warmth with the nutmeg and cloves, and a bit of peppy citrus taste from the orange zest. I thought that the combination was a lovely compliment to the fruit, veggie, and sausage stuffing.It is unfortunate that it is too early in the season for our apple trees to be bearing fruit, but the sausage comes from locally-raised pigs butchered at the meat market just outside of our hometown.
Here is what you will need for this recipe:
1 whole chicken (plenty large, so you have a big cavity that will fit a generous amount of stuffing)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons sage
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons cloves
1 lb sausage
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large apple, chopped
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tablespoon spice rub
2 tsp salt
Pat your bird with salt in the morning and allow it to sit in the fridge all day (if crispy skin is your thing!). Once you are ready to begin cooking, remove it from the fridge and rub it inside and out with your spice rub (being sure to save a few tablespoons for your stuffing). Make it as mild or as spicy as you choose . . . we generally lean towards spicy at our house. If you did not pre-salt your bird, I would recommend adding a few tablespoons of salt to your rub mixture.
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and set about making your stuffing. Brown the sausage in a large skillet then remove the sausage to a mixing bowl, leaving the cooking fat in the skillet. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet, cooking until the onions are only slightly softened. Mix the onions and garlic along with the rest of your stuffing ingredients into the sausage, and then stuff the cavity of your chicken. Place your bird in a roasting pan, and he is ready for the oven!
If you have leftover stuffing that does not fit into the cavity of your bird (which is highly likely), put it in a separate, greased pan and cook it for the final 30-40 minutes that your bird is in the oven. Nick and I love sausage stuffing, so this extra pan is a must in our house. If you are not as much of a stuffing fan, you could always cut the stuffing quantities in half, and that should be just enough to fill your bird’s cavity.
Cook your chicken for the first 15 minutes at 450, then turn the oven down to 375. The surge of heat will result in a really crispy and brown skin and deliciously succulent meat. My chicken was slightly over five pounds (pre-stuffing) so I roasted it for a total of about 2 ½ hours. (Stuffed chickens have a longer cooking time than un-stuffed, so be sure to adjust accordingly.)
I am sharing this recipe at Hunk of Meat Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop, Traditional Tuesdays, Grain-Free Tuesdays, Tuesday’s Tasty Tidbits, Tasty Tuesdays, Tuesdays at the Table, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Night Supper Club, Domestically Divine, Recipes I Can’t Wait To Try, Gluten-Free Wednesdays at the Gluten-Free Homemaker, Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop, What’s on Your Plate Wednesday, Foodie Wednesday, Community Cooking Challenge, It’s A Keeper Thursday, Friday Favorites, Allergy-Friendly Friday, and Seasonal Sunday.