Sometimes, a holiday comes around and you just don't want to make an entire turkey and dressing. A whole turkey is a big deal and feeds a large crowd, so the years it is just may family and my in-laws for Christmas, I make this dish instead. It feels like turkey and dressing, but it is easier and feeds more small group I am cooking for better than a 12 lb turkey.
Start the bread cubes and crumbs a day or two before you want to serve this, just like you would with regular dressing. If your family likes more dark or white meat, just adjust the chicken parts you want accordingly.
Serves 8 - 10
Easy One Pan Roast Chicken and Stuffing
adapted from Perfect One-Dish Dinner by Pam Anderson
10 -12 c 1/2" bread cubes (from a nice crusty French or Italian loaf if possible), dried overnight
2 c finely ground bread crumbs, dried overnight
1 1/2 T dried basil
1 1/2 T dried oregano
1 T salt
1 T black pepper
2 t fennel seeds
1 1/2 t orange zest
2 T olive oil
4 chicken leg quarters (with bones and skin included)
2 - 4 chicken breasts (with bones and skin), halved cross wise (this takes a little force!)
1 lb bulk Italian sausage
2 medium onions, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 c golden raisins (regular raisins are ok too, as well as dried apricots)
1/2 c parsley, minced
1 qt chicken stock
Mix together 1/2 t basil, 1/2 t oregano, 1 T salt, 2 t pepper, fennel, orange zest, and olive oil in small bowl. Smear over each piece of chicken. Heat a large heavy roasting pan over two burners on medium-high heat. (If you are not sure about doing this to your roasting pan, do these stove stop steps in a large skillet, be sure to scoop all skillet juices into the pan as well before roasting the chicken). Heat a bit of olive oil in the roasting pan and sear chicken, skin side down at first, until chicken is nicely browned on both sides, about 8 - 10 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same pan, cook the sausage in pan until it is no longer pink. Add onions and celery and cook until vegetables are softened, about 8 - 10 minutes. In large bowl, mix together bread cubes, bread crumbs, sausage mixture, raisins, parsley, and remaining oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl and then add chicken stock, whisking it with the eggs. Pour over bread cubes and sausage mixture. Toss to coat and let stand for 10 minutes to let liquid absorb. If mixture looks dry, add extra chicken stock or milk.
Dump bread cube mixture into roasting pan. Top with chicken, skin side up and bake in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 45 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.