Fruit-Stuffed Roasted Chicken

Fruit-Stuffed Roasted Chicken

  • Servings: 10
  • Course: Main Dish

Oven bags are a cook's best friend when it comes to cooking poultry. Stuffed and tucked into the bag, the chicken cooks juicy, tender, and fast. No need to baste. Just check the thermometer near the end of the cooking time. Then cut open the bag and lift out the chicken. After serving and cooling, gather up the oven bag, lift it out of the pan, and toss it in the trash. Cleanup is easy with no scrubbing needed.

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Ingredients

  • 1 5- to 6-pound whole roasting chicken
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 4 1/2 snipped fresh thyme or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed
  • 2 finely shredded orange peel
  • 2 medium apples, cored and chopped (2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cubed French bread (3/4-inch cubes)
  • 10 pitted prunes or dried apricot halves, cut up
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
  • 2 orange juice
  • Flour
  • Disposable oven bags

Directions

Step 1

Rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Season body cavity with salt and pepper. In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons of the melted margarine, 2 tablespoons of the dry sherry, 1 tablespoon of the fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon of the dried thyme, and 1 teaspoon of the orange peel; mix well. Brush bird with sherry mixture.

Step 2

For stuffing, in a medium skillet cook apples, onion, and celery in remaining melted margarine about 5 minutes or until tender. In a large mixing bowl combine apple mixture with cubed French bread, prunes or apricots, grapes, orange juice, remaining dry sherry, remaining fresh or dried thyme, and remaining orange peel. Mix well. (Stuffing will become more moist while cooking.) Spoon some of the stuffing loosely into the neck cavity. Pull neck skin to back; fasten with a small skewer. Lightly spoon the remaining stuffing into the body cavity. Tuck drumsticks under the band of skin that crosses the tail. If there is no band, tie drumsticks to the tail. Twist the wing tips under the chicken.

Step 3

Place disposable oven bag in a roasting pan according to package directions, shaking at least a tablespoon of flour in the bag. Cut six 1/2-inch slits in top of bag. Place stuffed chicken, breast side up, in the oven bag; close bag. Insert an oven-going meat thermometer into the center of one of the thigh muscles without touching bone. Roast, uncovered, in a 325 degree F oven for 1-3/4 to 2-1/2 hours or until meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F to 185 degrees F. At this time, chicken is no longer pink and the drumsticks move easily in their sockets.

Step 4

Remove chicken from oven; let stand 10 to 20 minutes before removing from oven bag to carve. Makes 10 servings.

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