Gruyère is a good cheese to use for stuffing and for gratins because it both melts evenly and retains its essential character, adding that essence to the dish at hand. Here, it contributes extra flavor and texture to a traditional bread-and-sausage stuffing for roast chicken.
To make the stuffing, in a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter foams, add the shallots, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, until the shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and add the cheese, bread cubes, and parsley. Moisten with the chicken broth, adding just enough to bind the mixture together in a slightly sticky mass.
Pat the chicken dry and rub inside and out with the butter. Season with the salt and pepper. Pack the cavity snugly with the stuffing and truss the legs with kitchen string. Place the stuffed bird on the rack and roast until the skin is golden brown and the juices of the inner thigh run clear when pierced with a knife, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh without touching bone registers
To serve, scoop the stuffing from the cavity onto a platter. Carve the chicken into serving pieces and arrange them around the stuffing. Drizzle with juices from the roasting pan and serve at once.
© 2013 All rights reserved. Published by Weldon Owen.