There are many ways to roast a chicken but this is one of my all time favorite. The low fat creaminess of the rikotta coupled with the refreshing taste of the basil is an explosion in your your mouth. The beauty of this dish inspired by Vogue Entertaining, amended by me ,is the ease of preparation.
Serves 41/2 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 large clove garlic,chopped finely
extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese2 tablespoons softened butter1/2 lb rikotta cheese (whole milk or low fat, but not non fat)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
3-31/2 lb whole chicken
Preheat oven to 375*F.
In a food processor blend together basil,pine nuts ,garlic, and a 1/4 cup of oil. Add the parmesan, butter salt and pepper and pulse to combine.
Gently lift the skin off the chicken ,careful not to tear the skin and spread with the rikotta mixture under the skin.
Place the excess mixture into the cavity.Run your hands over the skin to even out the stuffing. Fold the wing tips under and loosely tie the legs together. Place the chicken, skin side up in a roasting dish. Rub with a little oil. roast for about 1 hour and 20 minutes,basting occassionally,until the juices run clear (cover loosely with aluminium foil if it starts to brown too rapidly).
Set aside to rest for 5-10 minutes. Serve