Minnesota Wild Rice-Stuffed Chicken
1 6-ounce package long grain and wild rice mix
2 medium cooking apples (such as Granny Smith or Jonathan), cored and chopped
8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms (3 cups)
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/2 tsp pepper
1 5- to 6-pound whole roasting chicken
2-3 Tbs apple jelly, melted
1 medium apple, cut into wedges (optional)
For stuffing, cook rice according to package directions, except add apples, mushrooms, carrot, onion, and pepper to rice before cooking.
Meanwhile, rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Spoon some of the stuffing loosely into the neck cavity. Pull the neck skin to the back and fasten with a small skewer. Lightly spoon the remaining stuffing into body cavity. Tuck drumsticks under the band of skin that crosses the tail. If there is no band, tie drumsticks to tail. Twist the wing tips under the bird.
Place stuffed chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into the center of one of the thigh muscles. The bulb should not touch the bone.
Roast, uncovered, in a 325 degree F. oven for 1-3/4 to 2-1/2 hours or until meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F. to 185 degrees F. At this time, chicken is no longer pink and the drumsticks move easily in their sockets. When the bird is two-thirds done, cut the band of skin or string between the drumsticks so the thighs will cook evenly.
Brush chicken with melted jelly once or twice during the last 10 minutes of roasting.
Remove chicken from oven and cover it with foil. Let stand for 10 to 20 minutes before carving. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter. Spoon the stuffing around the chicken. Garnish with apple wedges, if desired.
Makes 10 servings.