Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Rainbow Chard and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

Rainbow Chard

When you see Rainbow Chard you can understand the instant attraction. How could you not be drawn to those multi-coloured stalks and deep green leaves.

Rainbow Chard

Last month I posted about a Rainbow Chard and Ricotta Filo Roll and have played around with combination. With a little tweaking I've used it as an under-the-skin stuffing for chicken. I find that it helps to lock in the juices of the chicken and turn a simple meal into something a little special.

I've used chicken Maryland portions but you could easier use this for a whole chicken - it would be best if you "spatchcock" the chicken first, that just means you cut it straight down the backbone and flatten it out. This will help you get the stuffing evenly distributed under the skin over the whole bird - it will also cut down the cooking time.

Rainbow Chard and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

Rainbow Chard and Ricotta stuffed Chicken
[Serves 4]

4 Chicken Marylands (I use corn fed Chicken)
200 grams ricotta
150 grams rainbow chard, leaves only (use could also use spinach or silverbeet/chard)
50 grams grated Sardinia Pecorino (or another hard cheese)
freshly ground salt and white pepper
smoked paprika

Make the filling:

Boil the chard leaves until tender, drain well and allow to cool. When cold squeeze the leaves tightly to remove all excess water before chopping them finely.

Place the ricotta in a mesh sieve and push it through into a bowl - this helps to make mixing it with the chard easier. Add the chopped chard and half the Pecorino along with a little salt and pepper. Stir well until combined and then taste - add the rest of the Pecorino if desired.

Stuff the Marylands:

Place the Maryland on a board with the thigh pointing towards you, run your fingers under the skin to gently loosen it from the meat - try to keep it attached on the side that is the furthest away from you.

Take a small amount of filling and push it as far as it can go over the drumstick - then keep taking small portions and pressing it under the skin. Try not to overpack, you want the skin to have a natural tautness over the stuffing.

Repeat the process with the remaining Marlyands.

Raw: Rainbow Chard and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

Once they are all done, rub a little olive oil over the skin and underside - season again with fresh ground salt and white pepper and finally dust over with some Smoked Spanish Paprika.

Bake in a preheated 180°C/350°F, stuffing side up. Once the skin has coloured turn the marylands over to brown the underside. When that has browned, flip them over again and cook until golden.

Rainbow Chard and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken

For me, it just doesn't get much better than that.

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14 comments:

  1. Haalo, you always come up with the best ideas! This is such an excellent idea, I'll try it soon.ee

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  2. This is a perfect recipe for swiss chard I found on the farmer's market recently. I just love preparing chicken with stuffing under the skin! Great idea!

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  3. I found your site while searching for photos of zucchini flowers, and I love it already; I'll definitely be linking to you next week (I do a recipe each week) and on my sidebar as well :)

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  4. i love this recipe. not sure i'll find chard, but i know i can get spinach. never tried stuffing a chicken with this combination.

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  5. Oh Haalo! your chicken leg looks like it's going to explode.I 'll be happy to be in front row when it does.

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  6. This is perfection, Haalo - what a delicious way of having chicken!

    I love it how it's so wonderfully browned.

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  7. Really a beautiful recipe!

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  8. they are so perfectly browned! yum. the chard pix are so beautiful, i want to frame them :)

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  9. This actually seems like a stuffed chicken recipe I want to try, and I love swiss chard with fowl or fish, so this is absolutely delightful.

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  10. Thanks Anh, hope you enjoy it!

    Thanks Mevrouw!

    Thank you Sognatrice, that is so lovely of you.

    Thanks Andreea - spinach should work well.

    Thanks Rose - it's quite plump but wonderfully juicy

    Thanks Patricia - i think having the stuffing under the skin seems to make the skin more crisp and it browned so evenly.

    Thanks Kalyn!

    Thanks Aria - the chard is almost too lovely to eat..almost;)

    Thanks Hilda!

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  11. Haalo, that's such a fantastic idea! Do you think it will work with turkey? My partner & I are hosting a "Christmas in July" dinner party next week and we will be roasting a turkey (a huge one, if we can find it) and we were thinking of different ideas of how to prepare the turkey.

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  12. Now that's a beautiful chicken leg, and I usually find them "uh". I love the cripsy look of it!

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  13. That's an excellent idea Haalo...

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  14. Thanks Nora - in theory it should work with turkey but I'd probably use it to stuff over the breasts as that's the part of the turkey that usually dries out, this should help to protect it and keep it moist. Do let me know if you try it.

    Thanks Helen - it was hard resisting the urge not to eat it as it came straight out of the oven, but I made sure I didn't waste too much time taking the photo ;)

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