Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Herbed Goat Cheese
The roasted chicken can be prepared a day in advance. Refrigerate and just warm lightly before serving.
Serves: 6Hands-on: 20 minutesTotal: 2 hoursDifficulty: Easy
- 8 oz. fresh goat cheese, well chilled
- 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
- 2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 roasting chicken (5 lbs.)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a food processor, combine the goat cheese, basil, and freshly ground black pepper; process until the herbs are incorporated and the cheese is smooth (the mixture may turn a pale green); set aside.
- Make sure the giblets are removed from the inside cavity of the chicken. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Using poultry shears, cut off the wing tips of the chicken. Starting at the neck of the chicken, slip your fingers under the skin of the breast, carefully separating the skin from the flesh. Continue downward and, with your index finger, separate the skin around the thighs.
- Using your fingers or a spoon, push the cheese mixture under the skin to cover the entire breasts and thighs as evenly as possible (press on the skin to distribute evenly). You will have a layer of cheese approximately ¼-inch thick under the skin.
- Rub the outside of the chicken with butter. Sprinkle the entire chicken, including the internal cavity, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Truss the chicken by tying the legs together with a 6- to 8-inch piece of butcher’s twine. Roast on a rack in a heavy, shallow baking pan, uncovered, for about 1½ hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into a thigh reads 160°F. Check on the chicken every 30 minutes during the roasting time and baste with pan juices. (Make a tent with tin foil to cover the chicken if the skin becomes too brown before the proper internal temperature is achieved.)
- Remove from oven and let rest for about 10 minutes. Carve as desired, but it is best if cut into quarters, with the backbone removed.