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My grandmother's stuffed roast chicken with helzel stuffing

My grandmother, Sophie Geneen, owned a kosher restaurant and hotel in Glasgow from 1930 until she died in 1961. She was the original chef in our family. Her food was known far and wide and the hotel was a home away from home for many Jews who travelled to the area. Her restaurant was the hangout during the war for American Jewish sailors who were stationed at Scapa Flow and she was an icon to them. My aunts married two of them.

When she travelled to the United States in the late fifties she was an instant celebrity, lionized by people who remembered her generosity and strength of mind.

In grandma's time chickens always had the neck skin, which was cut off and filled with this stuffing. Today I just stuff it inside as neck skin seems to have disappeared. The recipe is from the thirties. If you are using matzo meal, you will need to add about ½ cup water to moisten the stuffing. Obviously my grandmother didn't use a food processor to chop her vegetables, but you want them almost pulverized for this recipe so we're using modern convenience to our advantage.

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Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 4-pound (2 kilograms) chicken

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Stuffing

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups chopped onion

½ cup chopped carrot

½ cup chopped celery

1 cup dry breadcrumbs or ½ cup matzo meal

½ teaspoon chopped garlic

½ teaspoon paprika

1 egg

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Method

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, season with salt and sauté until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Combine onions, carrot and celery in food processor and pulse until very finely chopped. Add breadcrumbs, garlic, paprika, egg and parsley and pulse just a few times to combine. Season with salt and pepper and stuff inside chicken.

Place chicken in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour 20 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve chicken and serve with stuffing.

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