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Photo by: Joseph DeLeo
What a cornucopia of delicious ingredients! Our mushroom-loving friend Joe Dizney is always dreaming up dishes involving chanterelles and corn, and this is his best one yet. The apricot flavors intensify the mushroom’s fruity nuances and the butter and sausage add a savory richness.
This stuffing calls for corn bread, for which there are as many recipes as there are Southern cooks. Use your favorite recipe or try a prepared mix. The stuffing (there’s about 10 cups) can be used with a goose, turkey, or other bird.
1. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet, over medium heat. Add the shallots and one-third of the garlic and sauté until just wilted, 1 minute. Add 1 pound of the chanterelles and the minced dried apricots. Stir to coat with the butter. Add the nutmeg and ¼ cup of the brandy. Cover the pan and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid, about 7 minutes.
2. Uncover the pan, turn the heat to high, and continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, season to taste with salt and pepper, and transfer the mushroom mixture to a small bowl.
3. In the same skillet, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic and the onion and sauté until wilted, 2 minutes. Add the sausage and fry, breaking up with a spoon, until it is no longer pink. Add the celery and continue cooking for 3 minutes more.
4. Combine the crumbled com bread, mushrooms, and sausage in a large bowl, stir in the pecans, the julienned dried apricots, scallions, parsley, and ¼ cup brandy. Season to taste. You should have about 10 cups stuffing. (The stuffing may be made up to 2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before continuing.)
5. Stir in 1 cup stock.
6. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
7. Rub the outside of the chicken with the olive oil. Season liberally, both inside and out, with salt and pepper. Stuff the chicken, close the openings, and truss the chicken (see Note).
8. Roast the chicken for 15 minutes, then baste it with its own juices or a little olive oil. Reduce the heat to 350°F and continue roasting for about 2 hours. Exact timing depends upon the size of the chicken and the reliability of the oven temperature. It’s a good idea to allow an extra 30 minutes. The chicken is done when a fork pierced into the leg near the joint releases clear liquid.
9. Remove the chicken from the roasting pan. Pour off the fat. Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of apricot brandy into the pan over high heat. Stir, scraping up the stuck bits of meat. Set aside.
10. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a medium-size sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining ½ pound of chanterelles and sauté until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 4 minutes: Add the defatted pan drippings and remaining ¼ cup stock to the sauté pan. Reduce the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste, and serve in a gravy boat.
11. Remove the stuffing from the chicken. Carve the chicken and serve the sauce and stuffing on the side.
Extra stuffing can be baked in a casserole dish, covered with aluminum foil. Bake until warmed through, about 30 minutes. Check halfway through; if it appears dry, add some stock, wine, or pan drippings.
Although you can use a needle and thread to truss a chicken after it’s been stuffed, I like to use a metal or wooden skewer instead. Pull together the excess skin from both sides of the opening, overlapping it, if possible. Lace a skewer through the skin, as if you were sewing. The opening should be nice and secure.
Nutritional information is based on 4 servings, using one small 4 lb roasting chicken, 1 teaspoon of added salt. Nutritional information does not include Light Chicken Stock. For nutritional information on Light Chicken Stock, please follow the link above.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
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