Bistro Roasted Chicken and Sweet Potato Stuffing with Bacon and Thyme
Earlier this month (8 days ago), I made Butter Roasted “Engagement” Chicken and had already started craving it again. I’d mentioned I wanted to roast another bird, and a friend said “Good grief, Lauren! You’re already married – why do you keep making Engagement Chicken?” So, I found a recipe in this month’s Bon Appetit magazine, and HAD to try it before Thanksgiving, preferably via a stuffed bird. So, I decided to try a slightly different method than the Butter Roasted Chicken.
That still included loads of butter.
The recipe for the Sweet Potato Stuffing serves 16, so I cut it down in half and we still had LOADS of leftovers.
- 10 cups 1-inch cubes sourdough baguette with crust (from about 1 1/2 one-pound baguettes)
- 1 pound thick-cut bacon slices, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 6 1/2 cups 3/4-inch cubes peeled red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams; about 2 3/4 pounds)
- 4 cups 1/2-inch onion pieces (from about 2 large onions)
- 3 cups 1/2- to 3/4-inch chopped leeks
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1/4 teaspoons (or more) coarse kosher salt
- 1 1/3 cups fresh orange juice and the zest of 3 oranges
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/3 cups low-salt chicken broth
- a 3-4 lb. whole chicken, gizzards removed, cleaned and patted dry.
- 1/2 a stick of butter
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
For the chicken; Place the clean, dried chicken in a baking rack in a roasting pan. Soften butter in a microwave for about 10 seconds. Rub the butter all over both sides of the chicken, inside the chicken, and under the skin. Drizzle the lemon juice and zest in and out of the chicken, and then season liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Position your rack in the center of your oven; preheat to 350°F. Spread bread cubes in single layer on large baking sheet; bake until almost firm to touch, about 10 minutes.
Place bread cubes in extra-large bowl. Cook bacon in heavy large pot over medium heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
Pour off and reserve for another use all but 3 Tbsp of the bacon drippings from pot; place pot over medium-high heat.
Add butter, then sweet potatoes, onions, leeks, thyme, the zest of 3 oranges and 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt to pot. Sauté until onions are slightly soft but not brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add orange juice and bring to boil; cook until sweet potatoes are almost tender and juice is almost absorbed, about 5 minutes. Add bacon and sweet potato mixture to bowl with bread cubes. Season with more salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Butter a baking dish. Whisk eggs and 1 1/3 cups chicken broth in medium bowl to blend; add to stuffing and toss to combine. Stuff as much of the mixture into the cavity of the chicken and transfer the remainder to prepared baking dish.
Bake the chicken 25 minutes to crisp up the breast skin, then lower the cooking temperature to 350°F, rotate the chicken and baste, and put the stuffing uncovered into the oven. Bake the until top is lightly browned and crisp around edges, and the chicken’s juices run clear, about 60 minutes to 1 hour 10 minutes.