This recipe has been in my file for years. Every time I go in search of some other recipe, I stumble upon this one and think that at some point I will actually try it. Well, tonight’s the night. I had the chicken and the ricotta and only needed to head to the market for some chard. I love chard. We eat a lot of it during the winter and so it seemed like the perfect addition to our roast chicken supper. It’s not that you’ll need a certain type of “Tuscan Chard”, rather the preparation is Tuscan-inspired.
Roast Chicken With Tuscan Chard
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped basil
1 small bunch swiss chard, leaves only, coarsely chopped
Salt & freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup ricotta cheese
freshly grated nutmeg
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds
1 tablespoon olive oil
Melt the butter and add olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chard and basil and cook until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and let cool.
In a large bowl combine the ricotta, chard, egg, and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using your fingers, gently loosen the chicken skin from the breast meat. Fit a pastry bag with a large round tip and fill the bag with the ricotta stuffing. Pipe the stuffing under the breast skin of the bird. Brush the chicken with olive oil and season inside and out with salt and pepper. I like to fill the cavity with half a lemon and a few cloves of garlic. Tie the legs together.
Arrange the chicken breast side up in the roasting pan and roast for about 1-1/2 hours or until the skin is golden and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced. Let rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serves: 4