Friday, March 20, 2015

Zucchini Parmesan Stuffed Roast Chicken

This is the third recipe I've made for Sobeys' Power up with Greens program, as part of its Better Food for all Mission with Jamie Oliver.  This program is aimed at encouraging Canadians to incorporate (or sneak) more greens into their everyday meals.

I've been having a lot of fun with this program, and I, along with Sobeys, want to show you how easy it can be to incorporate greens into meals which you might not normally put greens into, such as heartwarming soup, rich, savory meatballs, and now, roast chicken.  I added spinach to the soup, arugula to the meatballs, and with this recipe, I added zucchini to chicken.

Growing up, we had roast chicken about once a week.  It's a comfort food for sure, and not much can beat the aroma of a chicken roasting in the oven.  We had veggies with our chicken dinners, but they were always served on the side; I've never thought to include a vegetable within the chicken itself.  This recipe was created by Sobeys and includes zucchini, which is actually stuffed under the skin of the chicken.

Zucchini is a wonderful, and versatile vegetable.  You can include it in baking (chocolate zucchini loaf - mmmm!), or as a layer in lasagna.  You can also use a spiralizer to make zucchini "noodles".  The possibilities are really endless.  It's even fantastic raw!  Try slicing it into rounds, and topping the rounds with a bit of hummus, some shredded carrot, and a splash of hot sauce, for a colourful, healthy appetizer.

Zucchinis have a lot of health benefits:
  • they are a good source of potassium, which aids in lowering blood pressure
  • they are a very low-calorie food, at 17 calories/ 100 g
  • they are a good source of vitamin C, and manganese, which offer protection against free radicals
  • the peel is a good source of fiber
Zucchini Parmesan Stuffed Roast Chicken

1.5 lbs potatoes, quartered
1/4 cup olive oil
1.5 tsp salt, divided
1.5 tsp pepper, divided
2 1/4 cup grated zucchini (about 2 medium zucchinis)
2 T fresh breadcrumbs
3 T grated Parmesan cheese
4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
2 tsp dried oregano leaves, divided
3.5 lb whole chicken

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Toss the potatoes with 1 T olive oil in a small roasting pan (I used a 9x13 pan).  Season them with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

Toss the grated zucchini with the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, 2 T of olive oil, half of the garlic, 1 tsp oregano, and a 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper.  Loosen the skin from the chicken breasts with your fingers, and stuff this mixture underneath.

Rub the chicken all over with the remaining oil.  Add the rest of the garlic to the cavity of the chicken and season the chicken with oregano, salt and pepper.

Place the chicken breast side up on top of the potatoes, and roast in the oven (uncovered) for 70-80 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 185 F.  Remove the potatoes and keep warm.  Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before slicing into it.

I was surprised at how well all that zucchini fit under the skin of the chicken, and I must admit, it was kind of fun to stuff it in there!  Haha!  Also, it saved room in the oven to cook two vegetables in the same dish as the chicken, the potatoes underneath, and the zucchini right in the skin. 

The chicken was so moist; the zucchini was perfectly cooked, and extra flavourful due to being right up against the chicken.  The chicken breasts did not become overcooked, as can happen with roast chickens, as the zucchini provided a bit of barrier from the direct heat.  The potatoes were a nice surprise - they were browned, and crisp in some places. 

We really enjoyed this meal, and have been eating the leftovers for a couple of days now.

Sobeys wants to know how better food choices have inspired my fellow Canadians to live a better life.  Use the hashtag #BetterFoodForAll on Instagram or Twitter along with a photo or video and brief description of how better food choices have inspired you to eat better, feel better and do better, and you'll have the chance to win a cooking lesson with Jamie Oliver in London, England!  You have until March 26th to enter.

Have you incorporated any greens into your eats this week?

Full Disclosure: The author has received consideration from Sobeys or Sobeys' media partners in exchange for this content.  Sobeys has not reviewed these claims, and is not responsible for the content.  


Kelsey Ann said...

dang thats a delicious stuffed chicken! im sure if the chicken could talk he'd (or she'd) be pretty please about it too haha

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Wow, that looks and sounds delicious! I would have never thought to do that! I might have to give this a try sometime. I love that it kept the chicken breast extra moist.

I haven't had a lot of greens this week as I've been kind of eating on the run and eating leftover indian food which is pretty much rice and carbs... But I have had a couple of smoothie so at least I'm getting some nutrients from that!