For decades chicken stuffed with parsley was a traditional Sunday dinner in Denmark, the bird braised in a heavy pot on top of the stove. First it is stuffed with a large bunch of curly parsley and butter (flat-leaf parsley does not work; tender curly parsley imparts an earthy flavor to the meat). Use a heavy flameproof casserole or Dutch oven and watch the chicken turn beautifully nut brown. The creamy, lemony sauce brings together all the flavors.
|1||whole chicken (3 to 3½ pounds)|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|3||tablespoons unsalted butter|
|1||large bunch fresh curly parsley, stems cut off|
|¼||cup heavy cream|
|Grated rind of 1 lemon|
1. With paper towels, clean the cavity of the chicken, pulling out the neck and gizzard, and any bits and pieces that cling to the inside. Pat the skin dry. Sprinkle the cavity generously with salt and pepper. Cut up 1 tablespoon of the butter. Combine it with the parsley and stuff it into the cavity. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Sprinkle the skin with salt and pepper.
Continue reading below
2. In a flameproof casserole large enough to hold the bird, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, breast down, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the skin is golden. Use 2 wooden spoons to turn the chicken on its side and continue browning first one side, then the other. Finally brown the back. The browning will take 20 to 25 minutes total.
3. Remove the chicken from the pan and discard all the fat in the pan. Add the water and bring to a boil, scraping any browned bits. Return the chicken, breast side up, to the pan. Cover and cook for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 160 degrees. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, loosely cover with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. The temperature will rise 5 degrees.
4. Skim the fat from the cooking juices. Add the cream and bring to a boil. Let it bubble steadily for 5 minutes or until the sauce reduces and thickens.
5. Cut the chicken into 8 pieces (2 wings with a little breast meat, 2 breasts, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks), setting aside the parsley from the cavity. Serve with the parsley and pan sauce. Sprinkle with the lemon rind.