Braciole di Pollo con Patate Arrosti

This is a delicious recipe for stuffed chicken. Italy is not a big sauce culture. I truly believe that when you can use delicious proteins cooked properly, you don’t need any sauce. The animals have so much flavor on their own that you don’t want any kind of sauce that masks the flavor. I have used mushrooms here that are cultivated year round, yet you can substitute any other seasonal mushrooms you like. Treating the whole chicken as a roulade isn’t always what Italians like to do. Yet the Sicilians love to roll things. The addition of the Sicilian dessert wine, marsala, makes this a true taste of the famous southern Italian isle.

TT = to taste

4# Farm raised free range chicken
1/2# Shiitake Mushrooms, stems removed
1/3 cup pancetta cut into lardons
1/2 of a large red onion, julienne
1 cup marsala wine
6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked and coarsely chopped
2# baby red skin potatoes, quartered
extra virgin olive oil
TT salt
TT pepper

In a large saute pan over med heat, add the pancetta, onions, and 2T of olive oil
saute for 10-15 minutes until the onions are softened and caramelized
add 3 of the sliced garlic cloves, the mushrooms and half of the chopped thyme
saute for 5 minutes
add the wine and cook until fully reduced (around 5-10 more minutes)
season with salt and pepper
remove from heat and allow to fully cool in refrigerator
De-bone chicken while leaving skin and muscle intact(if you don’t feel comfortable doing this you can have your butcher do this or skip this process and stuff the cavity with the mushrooms mixture.)
To do this, cut down the back side of the chicken(opposite the breast side)
use you boning knife to separate the skin and meat from the carcass
pop the legs and wings out of the joint
scrape the meat from the legs and wings on the inside being sure not to tear the skin
save all of the bones and giblets for making stock
lay the chicken skin side down on cutting board
use a meat mallet & pound the muscles to tenderize it
season the meat with salt and pepper
place the stuffing mixture on the meat
starting at one end by the legs and wings section and roll it towards the other legs and wings section to form the roulade
use kitchen twine and tie up the roulade to help hold its shape and cook evenly
once tied season the skin with olive oil, salt & pepper
take 1/4 of the chopped fresh thyme and spread it on the skin
preheat oven to 475F
dress the potatoes with some olive oil, salt & pepper
place the chicken in the center of a roasting pan
place the potatoes around the chicken
Once oven is heated, put roast into the oven and roast until the a thermometer registers 155F (around 40-45 minutes)
remove from the oven and transfer chicken roulade to cutting board to rest for 10-15 minutes
once you remove the chicken from the pan, add the rest of the garlic and thyme to the potatoes and stir together
put the roasting pan back in the oven for a few minutes to heat up the garlic and herbs
remove the pan from the oven and taste the potatoes for seasoning and adjust if needed
once roast is done resting, remove the twine and slice into 1″ wide pieces
spoon some of the potatoes on to individual plates
place a couple slices of the chicken roulade on top of the potatoes
if you like, you can spoon some of the pan juices on top of the chicken or a little drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil
serve immediately

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