Roast Chicken with Matzah Stuffing

Yield : 8 servings

2   4½-to 4²/4-pound chickens, rinsed, patted dry
2   lemons, cut into wedges
5   shallots, quartered
8   fresh rosemary sprigs plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh
rosemary, divided
8   fresh thyme sprigs plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
2   tablespoons olive oil
2   tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Matzah Stuffing

Place 2 small racks side by side in 1 large roasting pan.  Stuff chicken cavities with lemon wedges, shallots, rosemary sprigs, and thyme sprigs.  Tie leg together loosely and tuck wing tips under, rub outside of each with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place chickens on racks in pan.  Sprinkle each chicken with 1 tablespoon each chopped rosemary, thyme, and parsley.  Do ahead can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover and chill.  Let stand at room temperature 1 hour before continuing.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Roast chickens uncovered until cooked through and juices from thigh run clear when pierced with small knife, or thermometer inserted into thickest part of high registers 165 degrees to 170 degrees, turning pan once for even browning, about 1 hour 20 minutes.  Pour pan juices into small saucepan, reserve.

Cut each chicken into 8 pieces.

Matzah Stuffing

1    ounce dried shiitake mushrooms
6    tablespoons olive oil, divided
1¼ cups chopped onion
1    cup chopped celery
2    garlic cloves, chopped
5    sheet lightly salted matzah, broken into 1-to 1½-inch pieces
3½  cups low-salt chicken broth, divided
2     tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
2     teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

Place mushrooms in medium bowl, add enough hot water to cover.  Let soak until mushrooms are soft, at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.  Drain mushrooms, slice.  Do ahead can be made 1 day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, and garlic.  Sauté until celery is soft and beginning to brown, about 20 minutes.  Add matzah; pour 3 cups broth over.  Simmer until broth is absorbed and matzah is very soft, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in another large skillet, over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and sauté until heated through, about 3 minutes.  Add remaining ½ cup broth.  Simmer until most broth evaporates, about 3 minutes.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to mushrooms.  Scrape matzah mixture into skillet with mushrooms.  Cook over high heat until stuffing is golden brown, turning over in sections with spatula, about 10 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with parsley and thyme.