I like stuffing things under chicken skin, like black pudding and pâté. Though tasty they’re not always the healthiest things, so as I’m on a diet and trying to be better I decided to come up with a healthier alternative, and I had a load of mushrooms to use!
First I made a mushroom duxelle, which is usually used as a filling in Beef Wellington. It sounds fancy but is very easy to make. I use about half the amount of shallots to mushrooms. Blitz some shallots and garlic in food processor, and fry in some olive oil until starting to soften and colour. Blitz some mushrooms in the food processor and add to the pan. Sautee until soft and cooked through. Season and allow to cool before using. I tend to make big batches and freeze the extra it 100-150g portions.
I really wasn’t disappointed with this variation, the earthy flavour of mushrooms made it imparted just as much flavour as the higher fat meaty stuffings I’ve used, at a fraction of the calories.
Whole chicken – 3-4lb/1.5-2kg
Mushroom duxelle – 5oz/150g
Seasoning – Italian seasoning, salt and pepper
Equipment: Knife, roasting tin with trivet/wire rack and a lid or tin foil
- Wash and dry your chicken and place on the trivet in the baking tray.
- Being careful not to rip the skin, start from the cavity end, using your fingers (you can start it off with a knife), separate the skin from the flesh on each side of the breast bone, pushing your hand right in towards the neck end, and down the side, separating the skin from the thigh and leg. Don’t separate the skin from the middle of the breast bone too much or it could shrink back during cooking.
- Stuff the black pudding in, flattening it by pushing down gently on top of the skin. Make sure you get it down round the thigh and leg too.
- Season the chicken skin. Cover with foil or lid and cook in a preheated oven at 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5 for 20 minutes per lb/450g, plus an extra 20 minutes. Take the lid or foil off the chicken for the final 30 minutes of the cooking time.
- Rest for 10 minutes before serving.