Deboned Whole Chicken carved into roulades and fanned out across grilled carrots and turnips, drizzled with a reduced chicken stock and sprinkled with fresh herbs.

Deboned Whole Chicken Stuffed with Braised Kale and Collards

  • Author: Foodterra
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4+ 1x


This is hands down the best way to eat chicken! Rolling deboned chicken halves around braised kale and collards to create crispy golden brown parcels, means you not only get white and dark meat—but plenty of dark greens—in every bite. The carved roulades are fanned out across grilled carrots and turnips, drizzled with a reduced chicken stock and sprinkled with fresh herbs.



  • 1 whole chicken (about 3 pounds)
  • olive oil, as needed
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, season as you go
  • 1520 turnips, cut in half or quartered if large
  • 911 carrots, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons scallion greens, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoonchives, finely chopped for finishing

 for the chicken stock

  • olive oilas needed
  • 1 onioncut in half, then each half cut lengthwise into thirds
  • 3 carrotsroughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlicslightly smashed
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh oregano
  • ½ cup white wine (we used Chenin Blanc)
  • water

 for the kale and collards stuffing

  • olive oil, as needed
  • 1 bunch collardsstems removed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise then chopped
  • 1 shallotchopped
  • 1 clove garlicchopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper season as you go
  • 1 bunch kalestems removed, leaves sliced crosswise then chopped
  • ½ cup white wine (we used Chenin Blanc)

 for the chicken forcement

  • 4 chicken thighs, deboned
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temp
  • 1 tablespoons mustard powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Preheat an enameled pot or other heavy-bottomed pot to medium-high heat on grill or stovetop.
  2. Debone the chicken: start by removing both wings with a sharp knife. With breast side up, locate wishbone and cut down both sides and around the top with your knife; pinch top of wishbone with your fingers and pull it out, loosening with the knife if necessary. With breast side down, cut through skin along the backbone, peeling it back to expose meat and the oyster. Isolate and remove bone along backbone closest to neck. Continue to peel meat away from carcass.
  3. Separate thighbone from backbone by exposing joint and slicing through it. (Pulling the joint apart with your hands can help separate the two pieces.) Continue cutting along the bone to detach chicken tender and breast from carcass. Repeat on second side until carcass is almost free. At this point, pick up carcass with one hand and slice along the bottom piece of cartilage to remove meat from carcass.
  4. Lay chicken out flat and expose leg bones by cutting through meat to the bone and scraping meat away. Insert knife into space between joints, then slide knife underneath the bone and remove it. Remove the second half of leg bone, then repeat on second side. Chicken is now fully deboned. Cut through skin in between the two breasts, separating chicken into halves. Set aside.
  5. Start the stock: coat chicken bones in olive oil then transfer them to the hot pot. Cook for about 15 minutes stirring bones occasionally to get some color on them. Add onions, carrots, garlic, parsley, and oregano and sauté for 1–2 minutes. Deglaze pan with wine, cooking for 3–4 minutes to reduce it. Stir in enough water to almost cover bones, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20–30 minutes.
  6. Braise stuffing: preheat a braiser or other heavy-bottomed pan with a lid to medium-high heat on grill rack or stovetop. Coat with 5–6 tablespoons oil and add collards, shallot, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste; cover and cook for 3–5 minutes. Stir in kale and more salt, pepper, and oil; cover and cook for 2–3 minutes, until kale starts to wilt. Pour in wine, cover, and cook for another 3–4 minutes, until greens have softened. Transfer filling to baking sheet to cool.
  7. Make chicken forcemeat: In a food processor, pulse the ingredients together, scraping down the sides, until the chicken is finely chopped and the butter is fully incorporated. Scrape into a bowl, set aside.
  8. When greens are cool enough to handle, using your hands, incorporate forcemeat into the cooled kale and collards mixture.
  9. Stuff and tie chicken: Roll out one of the chicken halves, flop the tender down into the void below, then butterfly the thicker side of breast to create one even layer. Spread half the kale and collards stuffing over the piece of chicken and roll it up, starting with the breast side (so breast won’t dry out during cooking). Slide a long piece of butcher’s twine underneath rolled chicken and tie it with a surgeon’s knot and a simple loop. Wrap the long tag end around the chicken then loop it underneath itself, pulling tight using short tag end. Continue in same way down length of chicken roll. Flip roll over, pulling twine tight along length of chicken, then roll chicken roll back over and tie a surgeon’s knot with short tag end where you started. Repeat with second piece of chicken and another piece of twine.
  10. Remove bones from stock and strain it through a fine-mesh sieve. Return it to pot and simmer over low heat until thickened and reduced; turn off the heat.
  11. Cook chicken: preheat large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat on grill or stovetop. Coat pan with oil, season chicken rolls generously with salt and pepper, then add them to the hot pan, rolling them around to evenly coat in oil. Cook about 5-7 minutes per side, rotating to brown all sides. Continue to cook until internal temperature is at least 155°F, about 30-40 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let rest for at least 15 minutes.
  12. Grill veggies and plate: toss turnips and carrots in oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until brown in spots, 5–7 minutes. Toss with additional oil, scallions, and parsley, then spread out on a serving dish. Remove twine from chicken rolls, slice horizontally into rounds, then fan out slices on top of carrots and turnips. Drizzle with the reduced stock and finish with chopped chives, some salt, and a drizzle of olive oil.


  • Deboning: For your first time and/or a more relaxed pace this is probably best done on a weekend. Take your time and don’t worry about hacking it up a bit, the whole thing gets wrapped up so nobody will ever know the difference. You will get faster and more confident after the first few times. You can always save time and effort by asking your butcher to do it for you.
  • To stuff or not: The greens are combined with a forcemeat made from ground chicken thighs and butter so the chicken roulades will hold together when sliced. You can skip this extra step and just roll the chicken around the braised greens and take additional care when carving to keep roulades together. For the minimalist approach simply coat the chicken with olive oil, season with salt and pepper then tie it up. You still get all the great flavor of white and dark meat together in one bite.
  • Get creative with alternative fillings like sautéed mushrooms and shallots, browned sausage or any hearty flavorful greens.
  • Category: entrée
  • Method: roast, grill, braise