Mascarpone and Herb Stuffed Roast Chicken

March 6, 2008

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I’m not usually one to use mascarpone in savoury dishes. Not for any reason in particular, actually….I think it’s that I just tend to use other cheeses more ‘naturally’…..combined with the fact that I usually buy mascarpone only when I’m intending to use it right away (and most likely in tiramisu) so it’s not something that’s just sitting there to be grabbed and included.
When I came across this recipe, at Food and Wine, I was instantly happy that I hadn’t had a chance to make my ‘scheduled’ tiramisu last weekend.*smile*
I made a very few changes: used one 7-pound chicken instead of two 3 1/2-pounders….used fresh sage instead of tarragon….slashed a few more ‘entry points’ into the skin, the better to distribute the mascarpone….tucked a few stems of the herbs into the cavity….and obviously cooked it longer, basting every 15 minutes or so and removing the extra ‘juice’ (read: melted cheese-oil) so that the bottom of the bird wasn’t sitting in it and would crisp up.

The smell was incredible. It roasted to a deep and dark, almost mahogany. The flavor was killer. Even the smell when I used the carcass to make stock was at a whole other level than usual. Oooh, oooh, oooh!

I carved it and served it warm over mesclun, ever-so-slightly-dressed with a Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette:

1/4 cup fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper

Place all ingredients in a mason jar, seal, shake and pour!

It was the perfect accompaniment to the warm chicken…the juices mixing with the dressing (please, please, please use a *very* light hand with the vinaigrette on the greens) and the warmth slightly wilting the lettuce and making it all one dish. Fresh and earthy and so comforting, in a promise-of-the-spring-to-come kind of way.

As I said, the taste was incredible….but I plan to make it next time using butter in place of the mascarpone. Considering most of the mascarpone seemed to melt away, want to find out if I get the same (or at least similar) wonderful result with butter—since a stick of butter costs about 1/5 of the price of the mascarpone…and goodness knows, I always have that in my fridge!

When I try it with butter–same herbs and cooking method and salad–I’ll let you know how it measures up.

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Filed Under: Mains, Recipe, Savory

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