Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Rainbow Chard and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken
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.
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
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
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.
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.
For me, it just doesn't get much better than that.
Tagged with Savoury Food