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Roast Chicken with Spinach, Ricotta and Lemon

Serves 4
Brian Streeter
Pairs well with:
Chardonnay, Napa Valley

Chef Brian Streeter presents a classic, simple recipe that enhances the flavor of ordinary chicken. A spincah-ricotta filling pushed under the skin, puffing slightly during cooking and extending the meat's flavor in a creamy direction. Enjoy with our Tinsley Ranch Chardonnay.


1 small chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 lbs.
2 bunches spinach
2 shallots, minced
2 T. olive oil
1 c. ricotta cheese
¼ c. Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grated
¼ tsp. nutmeg
½ lemon
2 sprigs rosemary
2 T. butter, melted
salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 400F. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Work your fingers under the skin of the chicken to loosen. Wash spinach and drain in a colander. Blanch in a pot of boiling water. Drain into a colander and run cold water over to cool down. Squeeze out all the moisture and chop fine . Saute the shallots in the olive oil over medium heat to soften. Add the spinach and the nutmeg and toss to coat. Mix with the ricotta and parmesan cheese. Stuff the mixture under the skin, working it in to evenly distribute. Cut the lemon into quarters and stuff into the cavity of the chicken along with the sprigs of rosemary. Tie the legs together and place in roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper and brush with the melted butter. Roast in the middle of the oven until the juices run clear, about 1 hour. Baste several times throughout the cooking process. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Tilt the pan and skim off the fat that has accumulated. Remove the lemon from the cavity of the chicken and squeeze into the roasting pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned glaze on the bottom. Slice the chicken and spoon the juices over the top.

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