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Chicken, Stuffed Spineless (M, TNT)
Source: Self
Serves: 6 with leftovers

1 4 to 5 lbs. chicken
1 double boneless-skinless chicken breast

3 cups cubes of leftover challah, toasted until dry and brown in 325°F oven
2 stalks diced celery
1/2 small diced onion
1 egg
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp. fresh sage, minced
1/4 lb. diced smoked turkey

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

For stuffing, sauté onion and celery, stir egg and broth with fork, mix together with other ingredients.

Place chicken in front of you with backbone up and wings closest to you.

Using sharp knife, cut through skin over backbone down to the bone. With knife, dissect under skin to the right side, keeping knife close to bones. You will come to the place where the hip bone connects to the base of the spine bones, disconnect this joint.

Continue, using fingers (blunt dissection) and knife (sharp dissection) along the ribs, severing the joint where the wings connect to the rest of the skeleton. Keep going on one side until you are at the edge of the breast bone. Repeat on other side.

Now you can carefully (not to puncture through the skin) lift the entire skeleton (other than the legs and wings) and save it for soup.

Now, using the sharp knife, cut the meat away from the thigh bones and remove them, leaving the legs intact.

You now should have an open chicken, legs and wings intact, meat side up, skin side down. Pat a layer of stuffing over all of this, lay chicken breast on top and place more stuffing over that.

Using kitchen string and a darning needle (I use a curved surgical needle and needle holder I have had since I graduated med school 30 years ago), start sewing up the chicken, starting at the "bottom" end. Don't worry about tightening up the string yet, just go from one side to the next, incorporating some meat with the thick skin from over the spine. Start to shape the chicken into a chicken shape, tightening the string as you go along. Turn over and it will look like a rather spineless chicken. Truss legs and wings so it shapes up.

Place in roasting pan, coat with margarine or olive oil and roast until thermometer in stuffing registers 175°F.

To serve, simply place on platter, pull out the string, carve by cutting off wings and legs and then astound your guests by simply slicing the rest of the chicken!

This took me 15 minutes to bone, another 10 to put together. Allow longer if you don't have surgical training, but you should get pretty fast with it.

This was fun, both to make and to serve!

Poster's Notes:
Feel free to vary the stuffing ingredients.

I made this for Shabbos dinner, fed 6 and had enough for my husband and I for leftovers tonight. It actually was an experiment since I wanted to check out my boning skills before trying something more massive, like the Turducken discussed around Thanksgiving time last fall (boned turkey, layer stuffing, boned duck, layer stuffing, boned chicken, all sewn up and roasted).

Posted by Sharon Kuritzky

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A