Lowcountry recipe: Roast Chicken with Groundnut Dressing

September 19, 2012 

LOWCOUNTRY172

The groundnut dressing with this roast chicken is part of the West African tradition of pairing peanuts with fowl found in South Carolina’s low country. Illustrates LOWCOUNTRY (category d), by Tim Carman (c) 2012, The Washington Post. Moved Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. (MUST CREDIT: Photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post.)

LINDSEY — THE WASHINGTON POST

  • Roast Chicken With Groundnut Dressing 3 to 4 servings The West African tradition of pairing peanuts with fowl found an early home in South Carolina’s low country. Here the bird is accompanied by a corn bread that’s typically Southern, with no sugar or wheat flour. To reproduce this corn bread the way John Martin Taylor’s grandmothers made it, with a golden-brown crust, you will need a 9- or 10-inch well-seasoned, never-washed cast-iron skillet. For the corn bread 1 large egg 2 cups whole or low-fat buttermilk 1 3/4 cups stone-ground cornmeal 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons strained bacon grease 1 scant teaspoon baking powder 1 scant teaspoon salt 1 scant teaspoon baking soda For the stuffing 1/2recipe corn bread (see above) 1/4 cup chopped onion 1/4 cup chopped celery 1 tablespoon peanut oil Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1/8 teaspoon each dried parsley, savory, marjoram and basil leaves 1/4 cup chopped, unsalted dry-roasted peanuts 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted 1 cup homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth For the chicken One 3 1/2-to-4-pound chicken Salt Freshly ground black pepper 1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft 1/2 cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts Cayenne pepper For the corn bread: Combine the egg and buttermilk in a medium mixing bowl, then add the cornmeal and beat it well into the batter, which should be thin. Add enough bacon grease to a 9- or 10-inch skillet to coat the bottom and sides with a thin film, then put the skillet in a cold oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees. When the oven reaches 450 degrees, the bacon grease should be at the point of smoking. Remove the skillet from the oven. Add the baking powder, salt and soda to the batter, mix well and pour the batter into the hot skillet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top of the corn bread begins to brown. For the stuffing: Crumble the corn bread into a large mixing bowl. Heat the peanut oil in a small saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion and celery, and cook until the onion begins to look translucent. Pour the contents of the skillet over the corn bread, stirring to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste along with the herbs, peanuts and egg, and mix. Stir together the melted butter and chicken broth and pour it into the mixture, stirring to combine. Transfer the stuffing to an 8-inch cake pan or casserole dish. For the chicken: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove any extra fat from the cavity of the chicken, and rub the chicken all over first with salt and pepper and then with the soft butter (to taste). Place the peanuts in the bowl of a food processor and grind them finely, working in quick bursts so as not to turn them into peanut butter. Pat the outside of the chicken with the ground peanuts and sprinkle it with cayenne pepper (to taste). Place the chicken on a roasting rack that will fit into the baking pan or casserole dish, suspending the bird above the stuffing. (If you don’t have a roasting rack, place the chicken on top of the stuffing.) Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cook for about 45 minutes. Test for doneness by piercing the thigh with a fork at its thickest point; the juices should run clear. Let the bird rest for about 10 minutes before carving. Serve with a simply prepared green vegetable or salad. MAKE AHEAD: Make the com bread a day in advance, so that you have only to assemble the stuffing and roast the bird. Adapted from Taylor’s “Hoppin’ John’s Lowcountry Cooking” Twentieth Anniversary Edition (University of North Carolina Press, 2012). NUTRITION Per serving (based on 4, using low-fat buttermilk): 830 calories, 59 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 51 g fat, 14 g saturated fat, 240 mg cholesterol, 930 mg sodium, 5 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar

© 2012, The Washington Post.

Roast Chicken With Groundnut Dressing

3 to 4 servings

For the corn bread

1 large egg

2 cups whole or low-fat buttermilk

1 3/4 cups stone-ground cornmeal

1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons strained bacon grease

1 scant teaspoon baking powder

1 scant teaspoon salt

1 scant teaspoon baking soda

For the stuffing

1/2recipe corn bread (see above)

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup chopped celery

1 tablespoon peanut oil

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon each dried parsley, savory, marjoram and basil leaves

1/4 cup chopped, unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1 cup homemade or no-salt-added chicken broth

For the chicken

One 3 1/2-to-4-pound chicken

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft

1 / 2cup unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

Cayenne pepper

For the corn bread: Combine the egg and buttermilk in a medium mixing bowl, then add the cornmeal and beat it well into the batter, which should be thin.

Add enough bacon grease to a 9- or 10-inch skillet to coat the bottom and sides with a thin film, then put the skillet in a cold oven and heat the oven to 450 degrees. When the oven reaches 450 degrees, the bacon grease should be at the point of smoking. Remove the skillet from the oven. Add the baking powder, salt and soda to the batter, mix well and pour the batter into the hot skillet. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top of the corn bread begins to brown.

For the stuffing: Crumble the corn bread into a large mixing bowl.

Heat the peanut oil in a small saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat, add the onion and celery, and cook until the onion begins to look translucent. Pour the contents of the skillet over the corn bread, stirring to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste along with the herbs, peanuts and egg, and mix. Stir together the melted butter and chicken broth and pour it into the mixture, stirring to combine. Transfer the stuffing to an 8-inch cake pan or casserole dish.

For the chicken: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Remove any extra fat from the cavity of the chicken, and rub the chicken all over first with salt and pepper and then with the soft butter (to taste). Place the peanuts in the bowl of a food processor and grind them finely, working in quick bursts so as not to turn them into peanut butter. Pat the outside of the chicken with the ground peanuts and sprinkle it with cayenne pepper (to taste).

Place the chicken on a roasting rack that will fit into the baking pan or casserole dish, suspending the bird above the stuffing. (If you don’t have a roasting rack, place the chicken on top of the stuffing.) Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cook for about 45 minutes. Test for doneness by piercing the thigh with a fork at its thickest point; the juices should run clear. Let the bird rest for about 10 minutes before carving.

Serve with a simply prepared green vegetable or salad.

MAKE AHEAD: Make the com bread a day in advance, so that you have only to assemble the stuffing and roast the bird. Adapted from Taylor’s “Hoppin’ John’s Lowcountry Cooking” Twentieth Anniversary Edition (University of North Carolina Press, 2012).

NUTRITION Per serving (based on 4, using low-fat buttermilk): 830 calories, 59 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 51 g fat, 14 g saturated fat, 240 mg cholesterol, 930 mg sodium, 5 g dietary fiber, 5 g sugar

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