Chicken provides a healthier option than red meats such as lamb or beef. It is naturally low in saturated fats and relatively inexpensive. A whole baked chicken with stuffing makes an impressive meal any time of the year. Serve it for holiday meals, other special occasions or for a simple family dinner. Baked chicken provides a healthy alternative to high-calorie fried chicken. Different stuffing options change the flavor and character of chicken. Turn leftover baked chicken into salads, sandwiches or soups.
Things You'll Need
- 4 to 5 lbs. broiler-fryer whole chicken
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- Black pepper
- Poultry seasoning
- 3 tbsp. parsley
- 1/2 cup chopped onions
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground sage
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 1 tsp. rosemary
- 16 to 17 slices dried bread broken into cubes
- 2 whole eggs
- Large mixing bowl
- Roasting pan
- Baking dish with lid
Remove the giblets from the chicken's body cavity and discard, unless you want to reserve them later use in soups or gravies. Do not remove the skin as it holds the moisture in and prevents dryness. Wash the chicken, dry completely and place in a shallow roasting pan for baking.
Season the chicken with salt and ground black pepper by rubbing it into body cavity for additional flavor. Use melted butter to grease the outside skin. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Set the chicken aside while you prepare the stuffing. Place bread cubes in a bowl. Saute parsley, onions, celery and herbs in a skillet with butter. Add salt and pepper according to personal preference. Combine beaten whole eggs with chicken broth. Stir the sauteed vegetables, seasonings and egg mixture together and blend thoroughly.
Stuff the body cavities and neck of the chicken with a portion of the stuffing. Bake the remaining in a greased covered baking dish. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken's thigh being careful to avoid the bone. Bake the chicken until the meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F.
Remove the chicken from the oven and baste every 20 minutes throughout the baking process. Use a spoon or brush to pour or brush the juices and fat that have accumulated in the bottom of the pan over the entire chicken.
Tips & Warnings
- Basting the chicken will prevent the skin from burning and the meat from drying out. Place aluminum foil on top of the breast if it browns too quickly.
- Make sure to thoroughly cook chicken to prevent food-borne illnesses. Stuffed chickens take longer to bake, so adjust baking time accordingly.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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