Stacked Chickens

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wwltv.com

Posted on June 23, 2011 at 4:40 PM

 

12-ounces lean bacon, finely diced
1/2 cup bacon drippings
3 whole chickens, split and cleaned
3 tsp. Frank Davis Poultry Seasoning
3 tsp. Frank Davis Bronzing Mix or Sprinkling Spice
1 Tbsp. coarse ground black pepper
2 cans Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup
1 lb. mushroom buttons, whole
1 half stalk celery, separated into ribs
6 medium onions, peeled and thickly sliced
2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
1 lb. fresh carrots, peeled and cut into halves
8 medium red potatoes, peeled and cut into halves
2 tsp. Frank Davis Vegetable Seasoning
1/2 cup dry sherry wine
1 bunch parsley, minced
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

First place a large oval roaster on the stovetop.

Then with the heat set to medium-high, sauté down the bacon pieces until they turn crunchy and crispy and begin to render out their drippings.

While the bacon is rendering, wash the chickens thoroughly under cold running water and then pat them dry with super-absorbent paper towels.

While the skin is to be left on the birds, the backbone sections need to be completely cut away using a pair of sharp kitchen shears. Then, with the breast-side facing up, push down on the breastbone while pulling the back apart-continue to press until the chicken flattens out.

When all three are done, liberally sprinkle them with the poultry seasoning, the bronzing mix, and the coarse ground black pepper.

Now take a slotted spoon and remove the bacon bits from the oval roaster (but leave the drippings in the pot) and set them aside momentarily.

Then one at a time, place the split chickens into the roaster and brown them on both sides to sear them and seal in the natural juices. As they become browned, remove them with a meat fork and set them on a large platter.

At this point, pour off all but a trace of the remaining bacon fat and set the empty roaster on the countertop.

Then, alternating ingredients as you go, nestle one of the chickens into the pot and slather it heavily with half of the cream of chicken soup. Then distribute evenly over the chicken half of the mushrooms, half of the sticks of celery, half of the chunked onions, half of the minced garlic, half of the carrots, half the bacon bits, and about half of the potatoes.

Then season the veggie layer with a generous sprinkling of vegetable seasoning and repeat the entire process after laying on the second chicken.

Finally put the third chicken atop the second layer of veggies. Then gently pour the sherry over the top of the "stack" so that you don't wash away the seasoning spice.

When everything is combined, cover the oval roaster with a tight-fitting lid and slide it into a preheated 325p degree oven for about 2-1/2 hours or until the chicken is "fall-off-the-bone-tender."

All that's left to do at this stage is to set the roaster on the table and-with a pair of tongs-begin serving the succulent chicken along with the potatoes, onions, carrots, and mushrooms. Garnish with a scattering of parsley and green onions. Oh-and a little hot bread on the side might just lend a touch of crowning glory.

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Chef's Notes:

1. The drippings from the chickens and the natural moisture from the mushrooms and the onions, along with the splash of sherry wine, should give you an adequate amount of au jus (natural gravy). But if you find that you need extra, simply add a can or so of chicken broth.

2. If you want to keep the first chicken from resting in the rendered fat, you can first place a trivet in the bottom of the oval roaster and setting everything else on top of it. Of course, one of the best ways to de-fat the au jus is to remove the chickens and veggies when they're done, then pour off the au jus, refrigerate it for an hour or so, and skim off the fat as it rises to the top in a caked form.

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