I’m about as predatory 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.
Carnitas-Stuffed Baked Chicken
- 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 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 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.