Italian Style Self Saucing Chicken

I think almost everyone has heard of self-saucing puddings, the delicious sweetness and full flavoured desserts. That we could never get enough of as kids.  Although now that I am older they seem almost too sweet for my taste buds.

But did get me thinking on how I could make a chicken that was full flavoured, rich without being over powering. Also while roasting add to the flavours with the juices and tastes of the chicken it self, to create a fresh, salsa or bolognaise like quality.

 I don’t know how many people are out there that get recipes when their resting or sleeping. It is not unusual for me to wake up after having dreamed of an amazing dish. This is what happened with this chicken dish. I made it just for the home once and it was an immediate hit. So after a little tweaking and perfecting here is the dish.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.

Italian Chicken 8

  • 1.5 kg – 2.0 kg Whole Chicken
  • ¾ – 1 cup roughly chopped Mushrooms or chopped peeled Baby Potatoes if you don’t like Mushrooms
  • 1 medium Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 Spring Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Large Char-grilled Capsicums (bell peppers) Sienna Brand Jar
  • 1 x 410 gram can (14.4 Ounces) Crushed Tomatoes including juice
  • Masterfoods All Purpose Seasoning to taste (or your favourite seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon Sweet Paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon Dried Basil
  • 2 teaspoons Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Water
  • 3 teaspoons Chicken Stock Powder (depending on sweetness and acidity of tomatoes, you might not need all of it)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil and/or Butter

In a medium frying pan cook the onions and the garlic until fragrant and just starting to colour. Remove and set aside.

Drain the char-grilled capsicums, and roughly chop. Put aside with the onions.

Add a little oil or butter; add the mushrooms or the potatoes and brown to deep golden brown.  Add the onions back and capsicums, the herbs, 1 teaspoon sugar, water, tomatoes, spring onion, about ½ to 1 teaspoon salt or to taste. Cook on medium heat stirring often.

At this stage the sauce is going to taste sour and acidic, what you’re looking for is a sauce that has mellowed almost to a fresh bolognaise sauce quality but still nice and chunky. This will take about 20 minutes. After the first 10 minutes have passed add the second teaspoon of sugar and 2 teaspoons of chicken stock powder. Cook for another 10 minutes, taste. If necessary add another teaspoon of chicken stock powder and a little more salt to balance the sourness and acidity. The cooking time is an estimate as some cans of tomatoes are more or sometimes less sour or acidic.

In the mean time using a heavy bowl place the chicken neck side down and breast side up in the bowl. Lift the skin gently near the cavity and slide a tablespoon under the skin, rounded side up; move it around to loosen the skin. Push it toward the neck end; be gentle and careful that you don’t make a hole in the skin, also make sure you don’t push the spoon out the neck end. Repeat with the other side of the breast.

Season the chicken on the outside with the Masterfoods All Purpose Seasoning back and front on the inside of the thighs and wings.

Stir the sauce and taste it, if it tastes fragrant and mellow (like something you would pour over pasta) take off the heat. Bring the sauce near the chicken.

Using a clean spoon and making sure you do not touch the chicken with it (In case you want to eat leftover sauce).  Pull the skin out a little and spoon 2 – 3 tablespoons of the mixture into each side of the breast. Then fill the cavity with the mixture. Pat the mixture under the skin so it’s evenly distributed.

In a medium to large roasting pan make a mound of the mixture and place the chicken on top.

Roast for 35 minutes per 500 grams or per pound. I used a 2 kg (4lb) chicken that took 2 hours and 20 minutes; a 1.5 kg (3 lb) Chicken will take 1 hour and 45 minutes. On 170°C (340°F) Fan Forced, 180°C (350°F) Conventional Oven.

The skin is going to get quite dark by the time its finished but not burnt, if your worried turn the heat down just a fraction. When you serve the chicken there will be a lovely sauce all around the chicken and it’s really delicious.

Serve, I hope you enjoy it as much as we have.