Many people love roast chicken.
It is a recipe that makes you think of Sunday lunches and first dinners prepared for friends. Stuffed chicken, roast in the oven, is equally appreciated but, perhaps, it doesn’t appear so often on our table. I also place it among the special roasts, perhaps as a family habit.
The roasts make me think of Sunday lunches, when the menu changed to make the table as special as the feast day deserved.
To long cooking, that I love.
At the time for me while the roast cooks filling the house with a familiar, friendly, inviting aroma.
I love all the roast recipes and they are among the ones I cooked most happily until they almost disappeared from my table. Both because I eat less meat and because I organize fewer dinners, especially now with the pandemic.
But, even if I eat less meat than in the past, I can’t help it!, I’m omnivorous and still today I continue to appreciate a good recipe for cooking meat. Roasts belong to the tradition of my family and region. Emilia-Romagna, perhaps you know, has a solid reputation for meat preparations.
And while this “unforgettable” 2020 is coming to an end, at least on the calendar, I am already thinking about the table that I’d like to share here on the blog next year. Along with many other home recipes, it is time to bring roasts back to my table. Tastes that are made to offer substance and comfort rather than surprise. In season. Homemade dishes that embrace and nourish.
Healthy but without deprivation, that times are already enough hard, for the everyday table. Rich and from the Emilia-Romagna tradition for the Sunday and holiday tables.
If you don’t have a large family, cook a small roast.
Take the chicken with chestnut stuffing, if whole is too much, portion it and eat it twice. Perfect, no?
Roast stuffed chicken.
The success of roast chicken depends on three factors: it’s good; it’s easy to cook, it’s cheap.
For me roast chicken was one of the typical flavours of Sunday winter evenings and lunches, always on Sundays, but in spring. Each recipe belonged to different and specific moments.
But not the stuffed chicken, it’s a recipe I associate with special lunches, those with guests. I remember that in the early afternoon grandma used to cook chestnuts in water and laurel and a pinch of salt. And while I peeled the chestnuts, she prepared the other ingredients: raisins, walnuts, brandy, aromatic herbs, spices.
The filling I suggest you was a great classic at home but don’t be afraid to add or change some ingredient to your taste. Spices like cinnamon, cardamom or cloves are perfect for this recipe.
My Thanksgiving’s chicken.
This recipe was a classic of my nonna’s repertoire and now mine. The chicken with chestnut stuffing is the recipe I cooked for my friend and roommate here in Bologna Ann, American from Massachusetts. A friendship that has accompanied me over the years, until today. On occasion of Thanksgiving, more than once, we shared table and recipes. I learned many things from her and Ann loved this simple recipe of Sara, my grandma.
When I started writing the blog, I asked Ann to tell Italian readers about her family’s memory of that very important celebration for the Americans. And she, who descends from the Pilgrim Fathers, opened the box of memories to tell about her family’s traditions and habits. A story that is worth reading.
Buona cucina, Monica
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If you are on Instagram, you find me as @tortelliniandco. If you cook with me, share your job on instagram and, please!, talk about my food blog and make word-of-mouth, I live on it. I know my English is not perfect, but the recipes are all truly traditional and tested. Thank you!
Food tip: how to make Boiled Chestnuts, Italian classic method.
Roasting chestnuts is by far the most popular method. Especially when enjoying them on their own, as a snack, or at the end of a meal. But I love boiled chestnuts too. I remember when I was a child and, after boiling them, I used to cut them in half with a knife and eat them with a spoon. But boiled are perfect as an ingredient in sweet or savory dishes! So, let’s go:
- fill a large pot with cold water, add in a pinch of salt and a few laurel leaves
- cut the chestnuts: place the chestnut on a clean surface with the flat side down. Hold it firmly between your thumb and finger and score through the two layers.
- put chestnuts in the pot with water, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to obtain a nice gentle simmer and cook for about 40 mins.
Chicken with chestnut stuffing recipe
1,5 kg whole and clean chicken
15 chestnuts already cooked and peeled
2 tablespoons of sultana sultanas
10 walnut kernels
a few bay leaves
1 glass of brandy
60 g softened butter out of the fridge
salt, butter, olive oil q.b.
liqueur for raisins, q.b.
if you like: a teaspoon of dried oregano
Put the raisins in a cup with hot water and rum or brandy liqueur for a couple of hours.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees, static oven.
Then drain the raisins, take a clean chopping board and roughly chop chestnuts, raisins and walnuts with a knife. In a bowl stir the filling with a pinch of salt, brandy or marsala and, if you like, add the smell of oregano.
Place the stuffing in the chicken cavity and use kitchen string to tie legs together.
With the softened butter, grease the surface of the chicken, sprinkle with a little salt and put in a baking pan with a few flakes of butter and a drizzle of oil on the bottom.
Bake in a preheated oven for about an hour and 1o minutes or until the chicken is golden. During the cooking turn the chicken. At mid-cooking add brandy or marsala or white wine.
Cut and remove kitchen string and serve the chicken surrounded by a mountain of tasty baked potatoes.