If you want a delicious and great-looking main dish for a dinner party, stuffed boneless chicken is a fantastic choice. Tasty, impressive and inexpensive. Yes, inexpensive — if you cook it at home. Just see the ingredients and you’ll understand what I mean.
The more traditional way of cooking stuffed whole boneless chicken is to leave only the bones in the wings. The thighs and drumsticks are deboned and stuffed as well. But that’s too much for me. I deboned the carcass, and as far as the thigh, but stopped there. BUT unlike most cooks who cut through the chicken breast to make deboning easier (they sew up the chicken during the stuffing part), I did no such thing.
I deboned the chicken by using a small knife and cutting between the meat and the bones little by little and using the fingers to push the meat off the bones. I was so worried that the chicken skin would tear by the time I was halfway through the deboning but all’s well that ends well. Imagine taking off a buttonless shirt by pulling it up over the shoulders and then out through the hands and head. That was how I did it. No cutting through the skin and no sewing up afterwards. Very little meat remained stuck to the bones by the time I was through but I kept the bones anyway because I could still make a pot of broth with them.
Using a small pointed and very sharp knife (I used a paring knife), cut around the tail end of the chicken to separate the meat from the bone. Use swift short strokes.
Do NOT push the knife too far. Just small nips. As you cut with one hand, use the other the pull the meat away from the bone. When you have about three inches of the back bone exposed, set the knife aside and use your fingers to gently separate the meat from the bone. Just start pushing your fingers inside the chicken, little by little, feeling where the bone is and then inserting your fingers between the meat and the bone.
Now, you’ll need the knife again to cut through five areas — the four joints and the neck bone. The four joints are the two joints separating the thighs from the legs (drumsticks), and the two joints separating the “little drumsticks” (drumettes) from the breast.
So, just use the knife to cut through the joints. I deboned the thigh but, if you feel more comfortable, you can cut the joint that separates the thigh from the back rather than the joint that separates the thigh from the leg. That way, there’s no need to debone the thigh.
Once you’ve cut through the four joints and the neck bone, you can pull off the bony carcass in one piece.
Stuffed Boneless Chicken
- 1 large whole chicken at least 2 kg. in weight, deboned
- 1/2 kilo ground chicken meat (you can substitute pork)
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1/2 cup finely sliced onion leaves
- 1 chorizo de Bilbao finely chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
- 3 hard-boiled eggs shelled
- 1 egg beaten
- 3 slices day-old bread cut into small pieces and soaked in 2 tbsps. of milk
Season the deboned chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Let sit in the fridge for a few hours.
To make the stuffing, just mix together the onion, onion leaves, sweet pickle relish, ground chicken or pork, chopped chorizo de bilbao, beaten egg and bread. Season with about a teaspoonful of salt and half a teaspoonful of ground pepper.
Take the chicken from the fridge. Lay it flat on a large plate, breast side up. Fold the neck skin and tuck it underneath. Spoon the stuffing into the cavity. When half the stuffing is in, take the hard-boiled eggs and arrange them in a row along the middle of the cavity. Spoon the remaining stuffing in. Pull the skin on the tail end so that very little of the stuffing is exposed.
Carefully slide the stuffed chicken onto the roasting rack. Roast in a preheated 375F oven for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing.