I watched Chef Daniel Humm, Executive Chef of Eleven Madison Park, prepare a roast chicken with brioche stuffing on the Martha Stewart Show last week and had to try it for myself. It was so much fun to make and eat that I wanted to share the recipe and my cooking tips with you. Let me know what you think!
What’s not to like? The recipe calls for tons of butter, rosemary, and lemon. I doubled the recipe and roasted two birds: one is a conventional 3 1/2 pounder and the other was a 4 pound, free-range, organic chicken.
This recipe is based the one posted on Martha Stewart‘s website.
2 C. dried brioche bread crumbs
(I used six 1-inch thick slices of a Pullman Brioche from Balthazar Bakery which I left out overnight to dry before pulverizing in my food processor)
4 sticks of Butter at room temperature (I love Kate’s Homemade Butter from Maine)
4 T. minced fresh Rosemary
4 t. freshly grated Lemon Zest
Course Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper (about 1 T. of each)
1. Place bread crumbs and butter in a large mixing bowl. Add rosemary, lemon zest, salt and pepper and use a rubber spatula to combine.
2. Transfer stuffing to a large plastic bag and cut a 1/2-inch opening at the bottom of one corner.
2 chickens (about 3-4# each; try to get the same size, or approximately the same for even cooking)
Brioche Stuffing (see above)
Course Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper
10 sprigs of fresh Rosemary
4 cloves of Garlic, peeled
1. Rinse chickens under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place chickens on a large roasting tray. Starting from the neck end of the chicken, carefully run your fingers under the skin to loosen it from the meat, leaving it attached at the center to the sternum.
2. Evenly pipe the stuffing under the skin and legs and breasts. Season inside of chicken with salt (I used about 2 tablespoons). I found that the organic, free-range chicken’s skin was more delicate. I worked on the conventional chicken first, and by the time I got to the organic chicken, I used too much force working the stuffing and teared the skin on the breast. So be careful, but not to worry, it all turns out delicious nonetheless.
3. Place rosemary sprigs, garlic inside the chicken cavities. Prick the lemons all over with the tines of a fork and add to cavities.
4. Truss the chicken and transfer to a refrigerator to chill at least 3 hours to overnight. To be honest, my fridge was full and I couldn’t fit the tray with the two chickens in, so I skipped this stage. One day, when I’m more patient, I’ll try this step.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chickens side-by-side, but not touching, in a roasting pan and transfer to oven. If you watched the show, you’ll note that Chef Humm said not to bother with basting since there’s all that butter to keep the meat moist and the skin crispy. But, I recommend basting it at least once. I spooned the melted butter to baste the breasts (be sure to take the pan/tray from the oven to maintain the oven temperature). Roast the chicken until the meat thermometer reads 170 degrees or when the juices run clear, about 1 hour. The 3 1/2 pounder took 65 minutes and the 4 pounder took an additional 15 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and loosely cover with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes before carving and serving.
One last note: there’s going to be A LOT of butter with yummy, salty chicken bits. I hated to let all the butter go to waste. So I roasted a couple of sweet potatoes, mashed it with a wooden spoon, and poured ladlefuls of the liquid gold into the potatoes.
The lemoney and herbal infused buttery brown skin with the moist and succulent meat were heavenly. I am going to enjoy picking away at these buttery birds for the rest of the week!