Carnitas-Stuffed Baked Chicken

I’m about as carnivorous as they come, but I have a confession…as I was prepping the dish I couldn’t help but feel a little guilty.  I was washing and patting dry my chickens and it occurred to me that, damn, I hope my ultimate purpose in life isn’t to be disemboweled, have pork shoved up my hoo-hah, and tossed in the oven.  But then again, this chicken made Ross and me very, very happy.

Good work, Chicken.  You served a good cause.

Ingredients

(This is for one chicken.  If you want to make two like I did in the picture, just double everything…duh)

1 Whole Chicken, innards removed

1-2 lb Pork Shoulder, cut into chunks

1 t Salt

1 t Black Pepper

1 t Dried Rosemary

1 t Thyme

1 T Olive Oil

1 Small Onion, diced

2 Medium Stalks Celery, diced

1/4 c Grape Tomatoes

1/4 c Diced Mushrooms

Additional Salt, Pepper, and Rosemary

2 T Olive Oil

Instructions

Make sure you’re using the fattier parts of the pork shoulder, as the extra fat is not only delicious but helps keep the chicken really moist throughout the cooking process.  Season the pork with salt, pepper, rosemary, and thyme.  In a pan over medium-high heat, lightly brown it in olive oil.  Do NOT cook all the way through as it will finish cooking in the chicken.  Remove from the pan and allow to cool, then add veggies and combine well.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry.  Carefully use your fingers to separate the skin from the meat on the breast and back (this helps it crisp up really nicely in the oven).

Fill the cavity with the pork and veggie filling, then tie the legs back with twine.  Drizzle some olive oil in a baking pan and place the chicken, breast-side-up, in the pan.  If you have any leftover stuffing, add it to the pan around the chicken (you can see I had a lot!).

Top the chicken with additional olive oil and seasonings.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour, 45 minutes.  Remove from the oven every 30-40 minutes and baste with pan juices.

9 thoughts on “Carnitas-Stuffed Baked Chicken

  1. Yeah, if this were a scene in James Cameron’s Avatar, the Na’vi chef would probably be socially ostracized by the others for not having the right kind of reverence for the food, except for the fact that the dish looks so delicious that everyone kind of looks past the issue. :)

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