When I served this dish, several of my dinner guests were wondering what the ‘secret’ ingredient was that have this roast chicken such a special flavor. Of course, rotisserie chicken is almost always wonderfully juicy and luscious, but pollo in porchetta—chicken prepared in the manner of roast suckling pig—is something else.
The secret is that you stuff the chicken with large chunks of pancetta—about 250g (4 oz.)—together with sprigs of fresh rosemary, sage, juniper berries, whole pepper corns and salt. Salt and pepper the bird and drizzle olive oil over it. It is a good idea, especially if you want to rotisserie roast it, to truss the bird to keep the legs and wings in place. Then you roast the bird, either using the rotisserie on your barbecue (see post on arista for the set up and technique) or in a hot oven (200 C/400 F) until golden brown on the outside. The internal temperature should be around 70 C/160 F. Leave the bird out, tented with aluminum foil, for about 20-30 minutes before serving. As when making arista, use the delicious drippings as a sauce, reducing it if need be in a small saucepan.
Although the stuffing and seasoning will give any chicken great flavor, of course buying the best quality chicken you can find will make this dish that much better. For this dinner, I bought a locally raised, free range, organic bird. As corny as that may sound, it makes a huge difference.
- Angelina’s Pollo arrosto ripieno (Roast Chicken with Sausage Stuffing)
- Arista alla fiorentina (Florentine Roast Pork Loin)