Pollo con le Olive
Roast Chicken Stuffed with Black Olives
Serves 4 to 6
1 5-pound roasting chicken, preferably free-range and organically raised, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 medium garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 cups (12 ounces) black olives in brine, preferably Nicoise type, pitted
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Remove the giblets and excess fat from the cavity of the chicken. Rinse the chicken inside and out under cold running water. Dry it thoroughly. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the cavity, then fill it with the garlic and black olives. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the skin, then rub it with the extra-virgin olive oil. Put both halves of the lemon and the three parsley sprigs inside the cavity. Truss it closed.
Place the chicken, breast side down, on a roasting rack in a heavy roasting pan or heavy oven-proof skillet. Roast for 30 minutes, then turn the chicken over to brown the breast for 20 to 30 minutes longer. To test for doneness, insert an internal thermometer under the leg or at the thickest part of the thigh to see if the internal temperature is 170 degrees (be careful not to pierce the cavity), or insert the knife in the same place and see if the juices run slightly rosy. They should not be red, which indicates that it is not ready; nor should they be clear, which indicates that it is overcooked. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before carving and serving with the olives. You may mash the roasted garlic with the juices from the roast, warm them together, taste for salt and pepper, and pass at table. Serve with boiled or roasted potatoes.
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