1 4-lb chicken
1-1/2 Cups diced crusty bread (We always have a soft spot for bread from Des Moines’ La Mie)
2 tsp Dried Parsley Leaf
1 Tbsp minced garlic plus 1-1/2 heads of garlic, cloves separated
2 tsp Za’atar
1 tsp Lemon Zest
1/2 Cup chicken broth or stock
1/4 Cup plus 2 Tbsp Olive Oil (any will work, but both Blood Orange Olive Oil and Eureka Lemon Olive Oil work particularly well!)
1 Lemon, sliced
Kosher Salt & Ground Black Pepper, to taste
* You’ll also need butcher’s twine or kitchen string
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Remove the wings and set aside.
Combine the bread, parsley, minced garlic, za’atar, chicken broth/stock and lemon zest in a mixing bowl and, using a big wooden spoon, toss with 1/4 Cup of the olive oil, to coat evenly.
Season the stuffing with salt and pepper to your taste. Place stuffing mix in a baking dish.
Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper and fill with 4-5 of the garlic cloves and slices of the lemon. Tie the chicken’s legs together with kitchen string. Season the bird on the outside with salt and pepper, and drizzle with the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil.
Place the wings in a lightly oiled roasting pan as a “roasting rack”, and place the rest of the chicken on top of the wings. Roast poultry for 20 min. Remove the roasting pan from the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and add the remaining garlic cloves to the roasting pan.
Place pan of stuffing in oven at this time. Put the chicken back into the oven and continue roasting for 25 to 30 min. Poultry is done when juices run clear when the leg is pierced. Remove pan of stuffing as well (it should appear to be just golden brown on the top). Transfer the chicken to a platter, and let it rest for at least 10 min before carving.
Serve the roast chicken with stuffing – don’t be afraid to use some of the pan drippings over the stuffing or in some homemade gravy!