Log Cabin Chronicles

greg duncan

© 1998 John Mahoney

The Gallivanting Gourmand

Stuff your bird

GREG DUNCAN

Ahh. Thanksgiving is around the corner and I can already smell the turkey cooking. Wafts of roasted garlic and a heady whiff of rosemary, thyme, and sage fill the house as a pot of winter vegetables boils away and steams up the windows. A crisp apple pie awaits you and your family as you toil away in preparation for this traditional feast.

Tradition is the word here and although some say you shouldn't mess with it I thought I'd offer a slightly different option for your Thanksgiving table.

Sometimes a decent turkey is hard to find. Not so for its slightly smaller cousin the chicken, which when roasted to a golden turn will satisfy even the most ardent of traditionalists.

I chose this dish because it makes use of goat cheese and I want to put in a plug for a friend who has taken on the challenge of producing a good local one. Jackie Hall's soft goat cheese will work perfectly in this recipe and you can procure some by paying a visit to the Heath Orchard on Route 143, near Stanstead, Quebec. While you're there, pick up a squash to purée as a side dish and an apple pie for dessert.

Thank the gods and goats for this one. The skin of the chicken will be golden and puffy while the goat cheese and garlic will be intense and rich. Try some pan-roasted Yukon gold potatoes with a sprinkle of rosemary and your family and company will thank you.

Roast Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese & Garlic

1 large roasting chicken
8 oz. (250 grams) mild goat cheese or cream cheese
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
4-6 tbs. olive oil
dash of vermouth

Preheat oven to 400F. Rinse the chicken under cold water and pat dry.

Mash the cheese, pepper and garlic until it is a smooth paste. With your fingers, loosen the skin of the chicken's breast and push the cheese mixture under it.

Rub the chicken with olive oil and massage it lovingly. This will make it crispy.

Place the chicken in a roasting pan and splash some vermouth over it.

Roast for about one hour and 15 minutes, basting every 15 minutes with the juices in the pan. It should be crisp and brown.

Place the chicken on a warmed platter and skim the fat off the juices which you will serve as a sauce.


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Copyright © 1998 Greg Duncan/Log Cabin Chronicles/9.98