Mardi Gras Stuffed Chicken

Mardi Gras Stuffed Chicken

8 ounces andouille sausage or kielbasa, coarsely chopped

2 large celery stalks, sliced

1 red or green bell pepper, chopped

3/4 cup long-grain rice

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth

4 green onions, sliced

1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds)

1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning

In a large skillet, cook the sausage, celery and bell pepper over medium heat until vegetables are softened. Add rice and broth; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until broth is absorbed and rice is tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in green onions. Chill until cool.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a baking dish. Wash chicken; pat dry. Stuff loosely with some of the rice mixture. Place remaining stuffing in baking dish; cover. Place chicken on a rack in roasting pan; tie drumsticks together with kitchen twine. In a bowl, combine butter and seasoning; spread mixture over chicken.

Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Roast until cooked through, about 1 hour. During last 30 minutes, cook stuffing alongside in baking dish. Transfer chicken to platter; let stand for 10 minutes. Remove fat from pan juices; add 1/2 cup water to pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Serve with chicken.

Serves 4.

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