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Mushroom, Apricot and Pecan Stuffed Chicken

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) - A delicious stuffing that adds a twist to the popular family meal. Omit or vary the nuts or dried fruit and herbs if desired.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes - Cooking Time: about 2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter 50 mL
  • 8 oz fresh Mushrooms, diced 250 g
  • 1/2 cup Each diced onion and celery 125 mL
  • 4 slices slightly dry whole (torn in small pieces or in 1/4"/6mm cubes) 4
  • 2 tsp mixed dried herbs (sage, savory, thyme, rosemary) OR herbs de Provence 10 mL
  • 1/4 cup Each diced pecans and dried apricots 50 mL
  • 1/4-1/2 cup orange juice 50-125 mL or 1 chicken (about 4-5 lb/2-2.2 kg)

Directions:

In medium skillet melt butter over medium heat; remove 1 tbsp (15 mL) and reserve.

Add mushrooms, onion and celery to skillet; saute for 3-4 minutes. Add herbs, pecans and apricots and cook 1 more minute.

Remove from heat and stir in bread; mix well. Add juice gradually, tossing until it is lightly moist (depending on staleness of bread). Rinse cavity of chicken with cold water and pat dry.

Spoon stuffing into cavity and close opening with a skewer; place excess stuffing in a casserole, toss with a little more juice or broth and cover*; set aside. Place chicken, breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and brush with reserved melted butter and sprinkle with more dried herbs if desired.

Cover chicken loosely with foil and roast in 350 F (180 C) oven for 1 1/4 hrs; remove foil and baste with pan drippings. Place casserole in oven with chicken. Continue to cook for 30-45 minutes or just until juices are clear when pierced with the point of a knife or when an instant read thermometer reads 180 F (90 C) and casserole is hot. Let stand 10 minutes before carving.

*If a drier stuffing is desired do not cover the casserole.

Variation:

If you are roasting chicken or turkey parts heat the stuffing in a casserole as directed above or place the stuffing under turkey breast in baking pan and cover with foil. Roast until instant read thermometer reads 180 F (90 C).

Tip:

Saute 3 cups (750 mL) fresh mushrooms and add to 8 cups (2 L) bread stuffing for a turkey.

For more delicious recipe ideas visit Mushrooms Canada at www.mushrooms.ca.


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