by Carolyn Wente, 4th generation Winegrower and CEO of Wente Family Estates
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup plus 2 TBS buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
3 TBS melted butter
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced onion
2 very ripe pears, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 2 cups)
2 cups cubed cornbread (1/2-inch cubes)
1 TBS chopped fresh sage leaves
1/2cup chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 roasting chicken (3-1/2 – 4 lb)
Olive oil for roasting
To prepare cornbread: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a mixing bowl combine flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk the eggs. Blend in the buttermilk, sour cream, and melted butter. Combine the wet and dry ingredients with a few quick strokes, breaking up the largest lumps. Pour into a buttered 8 x 4 x 2-inch loaf pan. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool.
To prepare stuffing: In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the carrot and onion. Cook until lightly golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add the pear and toss together. Remove from the heat and combine with the cornbread, sage, and chicken stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To roast the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash the chicken thoroughly inside and out and pat dry with a towel. Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper and fill with the stuffing. Reduce the heat to 350°F and roast for about 1-1/4 hour or until the juices run clear when you poke a thigh with a sharp knife.
To serve, remove the stuffing from the chicken and carve off the breast meat and legs Place a serving of chicken on top of the stuffing. Serve immediately.