Tuscan Roasted Chicken Stuffed Wtih Swiss Chard Couscous and Cheese

 

In culinary school we did a chicken where the stuffing was placed under the skin. I loved it - it made for such a moist, flavorful chicken, and I've been experimenting with various stuffings ever since. This is one I've honed in on as a crowd pleaser for my family (if only because I've received LOTS of swiss chard from my farm CSA). I made it again this weekend, and even the grandkids liked it, quite a feat I can assure you. This stuffing sings Italy to me with the combination of swiss chard, ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, couscous, capers and sun-dried tomatoes with a twist of lemon. It sounds like a lot of flavors, but when I've tried various combinations, each time everyone would say 'this is great, but there's something missing'. This time, everyone just smiled and asked for more. The stuffing takes about 40 minutes to make, but then you can relax with a glass of wine and clean the kitchen while the chicken is roasting. The stuffing can also be done the day ahead and even tastes better that way.

What you will need

2 bunches of green swiss chard

1/2 cup cooked couscous (see note below on how I cooked it)

1 onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons butter

5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

6 tablespoons ricotta cheese, drained

3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated or shaved

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 tablespoon capers

1 1/2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, julienned

juice from 1/2 lemon

1 1/2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

1 tablespoon butter, very warm or slightly melted

1 large egg

4 lb chicken, cleaned

2-3 teaspoons salt (divided)

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large lemon

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