Roast Chicken with Corn Bread–Sausage Stuffing
For beautifully browned chicken skin, dry both the skin and the inside cavity thoroughly. Be sure the stuffing is completely cool before adding it to the chicken cavity. You can cook any extra stuffing that didn’t fit in the bird in a buttered baking dish.
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) dry white wine
- 5 cups (10 oz./315 g) corn bread cubes (1/2-inch/12-mm cubes; about three-fourths of an 8-inch/20-cm square pan of baked bread)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 chicken, 5 to 6 lb. (2.5 to 3 kg)
Preheat an oven to 425°F (220°C).
Warm a nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally and using your spoon to break up any clumps, until the meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl. Do not wipe the pan clean, and keep it over medium-high heat.
Warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil in the pan. Add the onion and celery and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sage and cook just until soft, about 1 minute. Stir in the wine, bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid reduces by half, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the sausage. Add the corn bread, egg and broth to the bowl and toss and stir to combine well. Set aside.
Remove the giblets from the chicken and discard (or reserve for another use). Pat the bird dry with paper towels. Brush the outside all over with the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil and season well inside and out with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity of the chicken with as much of the stuffing as possible. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan or cast-iron skillet. Roast in the oven, basting once with the pan juices about halfway through, until the center of the stuffing and the thickest part of a thigh away from the bone both register 165°F (74°C) on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 1/2 hours. If the chicken or the stuffing starts to get too brown during cooking, cover with aluminum foil.
Remove the chicken from the oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the stuffing from the chicken to a serving dish. Carve the chicken, arrange on a platter, and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Chicken Night, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2014)