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Roast Chicken with Herbs

Roast chicken is a perennial favorite on Sunday afternoon at our house, always stuffed with whole wheat bread, more vegetables than bread and a lot of fresh herbs from the garden. This is one of those recipes that varies a lot. A particularly memorable one was the Eight Herb 'En. There were eight of us who ate the 'en for which this recipe is named. So eight ate eight herb 'en.

It was during this dinner that Jim Justus named our place "Maosinglade," which he said meant "ill-arranged" in what he assured me was a complimentary sense. The name turns out to be a corruption of "Malousinglade," a short movement within a suite called "La Chimenee du Roi Rene," by Darius Milhaud.


The original eight herbs were:
Sweet basil

Saute any combination of onion, green onion, mushrooms, celery, zucchini, and yellow squash in butter. Once you have chopped and added all the vegetables, cover to retain moisture. Then cut off the heat and throw in a bunch of torn up leftover bread (preferably whole wheat) and as many fresh herbs as you like. I do not salt or pepper at this point. Rinse and stuff the bird. For some reason, most cookbooks warn that you must stuff the bird loosely. This may be because most stuffing recipes contain a lot of water. I use no water and I stuff the bird tightly. This has never been a problem. No exploding birds.

Generously salt and pepper the outside. A few dots of butter are optional. Sprinkle with any remaining herbs, then sprinkle the whole thing with paprika and bake. The recipe works equally well for a duck or a goose.

P.S. If you have a raw liver to work with, particularly the liver of a duck or goose, the best thing to do is to chop the liver, fry it up brown in butter, and (unless it is your dog's birthday) serve it as an appetizer on toast with lots of brown mustard and black pepper.

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