If there are giblets with the bird, remove them. Rinse all but
the liver (reserving that for another use), and cover giblets
with water. Add salt and pepper, bring to the boil, and simmer
for 30 minutes.
Skim off the fat, and use as your chicken stock in the recipe.
Otherwise, use a low-sodium can or two of chicken broth.
Wipe the bird inside and out, and remove any lumps of fat from
the inside. Sprinkle inside and out with a bit of salt.
Mix together the oatmeal, chopped onion, butter, chicken stock,
and some white pepper. Stuff the bird with this mixture and
secure well with small skewers.
Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and
lightly fry the Irish bacon. When it's crispy, remove the
bacon to paper towels to drain; then chop and place in a large
casserole or Dutch oven large enough to accommodate the bird
(and eventually the potatoes).
Quickly brown the chicken on all sides in the same skillet,
and place it on top of the Irish bacon pieces.
Sauté the sliced onions with the carrots until both are just
a bit soft. Add the vegetables to the casserole or Dutch oven.
Strain the giblet stock and add liquid if needed to make about
1 cup. Heat the stock through and pour over the chicken (alternatively,
use canned broth or stock).
Cover and bake the chicken in a preheated 350 degrees F oven
for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, cut the red-skinned potatoes into thick slices and
either blanch them in boiling water or steam them for about
5 minutes. Toss them in seasoned flour and add them to the casserole
or Dutch oven. You may need to add a little more stock if too
much moisture is lost during the first hour of baking.
Put a few dabs of butter over the potatoes, then cover the pot
and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, removing the cover
during the last few minutes of baking to brown the potatoes.
To serve, place the whole chicken on a platter, surrounded by
the potatoes. Remove any skewers that were used to truss the
bird while baking. Drizzle the Irish bacon bits over the top.
Carve and serve a portion of potatoes and stuffing with each
piece of chicken.
Yield: 6 servings
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