Roasted chicken and dressing muffins

I cannot take all credit for this recipe, as this is a Frankenstein of different tips I picked up – Alton Brown’s Good Eats and Cook’s Illustrated’s America’s Test Kitchen are two major sources for this recipe as is my partner who threw in some great ideas of his own.

So this recipe is roasted chicken with dressing (or stuffing) muffins. When roasting chicken, it’s a good idea to place it on a rack, so that both sides get cooked evenly. So I cut large onion rings and used them for the “rack.” I then placed the onion rings on the muffin tin with the prepared dressing, and roasted them in the oven to allow for the juices of the chicken to drip onto the onions and muffins and cook them, replicated the stuffing of a chicken.

My partner likes white meat, and I like the dark meat, so I got chicken thighs and chicken breasts, but you can take any pieces you like.

Ingredients:
3 chicken thighs and 2 chicken breasts
olive oil
salt and pepper
half a large onion

dressing muffins:
3 slices of white sandwich bread, cubed
1 slice of whole weat sandwich bread, cubed
1.5 lb of fresh Italian sausage
1 tsp dried sage
1/4 cup of fresh parsley
1 cup of chicken broth

pan gravy:
2 cups of chicken broth
1/3 cup of dry vermouth
reserved onions from the chicken you’ve roasted
reserved skin from the chicken you’ve roasted

To prepare:
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Prep the chicken, rinsing it and patting it dry. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides and rub in. Leave to air dry on a rack.

In a large bowl, mix the bread cubes, sage, parsley and broth, unti the mix resembles wet mush. Remove the sausage from the casing and mix in loose with the bread mush, until well-combined. Make sure you don’t over mix or you’ll get dense muffins.

Take a muffin tin and spray oil on the bottom of each cup. Sprinkle a little bit of cornmeal, bread crumbs or parmesan cheese, just to coat the bottom. With an ice-cream scoop, drop the dressing mixture into each cup. If you have a cup still left empty, fill it with water to avoid scorching.

Slice onions into large, thick rings and place them on top the muffin tin. Place the chicken thighs on top of the onion rings and put into the oven for about 5 minutes. Then lower the heat to 375 and heat for another 5 minutes before adding the breasts. Let the chicken cook in the oven for about 25 minutes until the chicken’s cooked.

Remove the chicken and tent in foil. Let the muffins cook for another 10 minutes, then set them under the broiler until browned on top – make sure you don’t burn them. Remove from oven, take them out of the tin and set them on a drying rack to cool.

Remove the onions from the muffin tin – they’ll be kind of wet because they were cooking underneath the chicken. Chop them up. Remove the chicken skin off the thighs and return the meat to foil then. In a nonstick skillet over med-high heat, melt butter, some oil and the chicken skin and cook until the skin is browned and crispy – remove and discard. Throw in the onions and cook until softened and then add the liquid and let cook until reduced and thickened.

When serving, I made broccoli and potatoes, but rice or pasta would work, as well. Place chicken on a plate and spoon the gravy on top, and serve with the muffins. Oh, and enjoy.

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