Fruit-Stuffed Roasted Chicken
Delicious roast chicken stuffed with an orange-scented bread stuffing with chopped apples, onion, prunes and green grapes.
1 (5 to 6-pound) whole roasting chicken
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup sherry
4 1/2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed
2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
2 medium apples, cored and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup cubed French bread (3/4-inch cubes)
10 pitted prunes or dried apricots, cut up
1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
2 tablespoon orange juice
- Rinse chicken; pat dry. Sprinkle body cavity with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoon melted butter, 2 tablespoon sherry, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme, and 1 teaspoon orange peel. Brush chicken with sherry mixture.
- For stuffing, in a medium skillet cook apples, onion, and celery in the remaining melted butter about 5 minutes or until tender. In a large bowl combine apple mixture, French bread, prunes or apricots, grapes, orange juice, remaining dry sherry, remaining fresh or dried thyme, and remaining orange peel. (Stuffing will become more moist while cooking.) Spoon some of the stuffing loosely into the neck cavity. Pull neck skin to back; fasten with a small skewer. Lightly spoon the remaining stuffing into body cavity. Tuck drumsticks under the band of skin that crosses the tail. If there is no band, tie drumsticks to the tail. Twist the wing tips under the chicken.
- Place stuffed chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of an inside thigh muscle. The bulb should not touch bone. Roast, uncovered, in a 325°F (160°C) oven for 1 3/4 to 2 1/2 hours or until meat thermometer registers 180°F to 185°F (85°C). At this time, chicken is no longer pink and the drumsticks move easily on their sockets. When the bird is two-thirds done, cut the band of skin or string between drumsticks so thighs will cook evenly.
- Remove from oven; cover with foil. Let stand for 10 to 20 minutes before carving.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.