Tuscan Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Fragrant Greens This gorgeous rustic chicken is Tuscan in the truest sense. It is simple and sophisticated, a blend of grilled meat, forest herbs, vibrant greens, toasted nuts, garlic, olive oil, and grapes, clouded and puckered from bursting. The stuffing can be made with any hearty green, although red chard is the most visually striking.
Indirect heat, medium (325° to 350°F)
3- or 4-burner grill–middle burner(s) off
2-burner grill–1 side off
Clean, oiled grate
Indirect heat, medium ash
Split charcoal bed (about 2 dozen coals per side)
20 replacement coals
Heavy-duty drip pan set between banks of charcoal
Clean, oiled grate on medium setting.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
1 bunch red chard, kale, or broccoli rabe, cut into large bite-size pieces
1 cup (about 2 ounces) red seedless grapes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons mashed roasted garlic
½ cup (about 2 ounces) walnut halves and pieces
1 chicken, about 4 pounds, washed and dried
2 teaspoons Tuscan Rosemary Rub
Oil for coating grill grate.
1. Heat the grill as directed.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the chard and boil until barely tender, about 3 minutes; drain.
3. Meanwhile, toss the grapes with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Cook in a skillet over high heat on the stove, or in a grill skillet on the grill directly over the heat, until the grapes plump and a few pop.
4. Mix the chard, grapes, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the roasted garlic, and the walnuts in a bowl.
5. Separate the skin from the breast and legs of the chicken, and gently but firmly insert your index finger under the skin at the neck end of the chicken. Move it around, separating the skin from the meat underneath. Gradually ease your whole hand under the skin, loosening the skin from the breast, legs, and drumsticks.
6. Mix the remaining tablespoon of roasted garlic with 1 teaspoon of the herb rub and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl. Spoon the garlic mixture under the skin and push it evenly over the breast and legs of the chicken by rubbing the skin to spread it.
7. Spoon the remaining 1 teaspoon rub into the interior of the chicken and rub over the walls of the internal cavity. Spoon the chard and grape stuffing into the cavity, and tie the legs of the chicken together with kitchen twine. Rub the outside of the chicken with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil.
8. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the chicken on the grill away from the heat, cover the grill, and cook until an instantread thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers about 170°F, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 350°F. If you are using charcoal, you will probably have to replenish the coals after the first hour.
9. Remove the chicken to a large serving platter using tongs, with a spatula for support. Let rest for 8 to 10 minutes; carve and serve along with some of the stuffing.