Chicken Stuffed with Manchego, Mushrooms, and Spinach (Pollo Relleno)
Creamy Manchego fresco cheese melts gloriously in this stuffed roast chicken dish from Mexico City home cook Susana Rangel Gutierrez.
Yield: serves 4
- 1 (4 1/2–5-lb.) chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 oz. thinly sliced Manchego fresco or provolone
- 6 oz. white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch spinach (about 5 oz.), tough stems trimmed
- Salsa verde and tortillas, for serving (optional)
- Heat oven to 475°. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Slide fingers under the skin of breast to create a pocket. Mix 1 tbsp. butter and the garlic in a bowl; spread over breast meat. Stuff cheese, mushrooms, and spinach leaves into pocket; stuff any excess into cavity. Using a trussing needle and 6' kitchen string, tuck tail inward and sew cavity closed; tie legs together (see How to Truss a Chicken). Place breast side up in a 9" x 13" baking dish; rub with remaining butter. Cook, basting occasionally, until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 165°, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before carving; serve with salsa and tortillas, if you like.