This was an accidental recipe--one concocted because I couldn't resist buying some Chorizo from the Fatted Calf and happened to have some leftover cornbread on the counter. I made it for dinner with my sister and her family and we fell in love with it. —Lori Lyn Narlock
Prepare the cornbread as directed on the box. Let cool.
Remove the innards from the chicken and put in a small saucepan. Trim the wings and add to the saucepan. Cover with 1 cup cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer while the cornbread is cooking, about 20 minutes.
Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water and set in a colander.
Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes, stirring as needed. Transfer the sausage with a slotted spoon to a mixing bowl. Add the olive oil to the skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook until the onion is soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add to the bowl with the sausage. Break the cornbread into small pieces and add to the bowl. Stir in the thyme, salt, and pepper. Strain the liquid from the saucepan and stir in 1/4 cup to the cornbread mixture. If the mixture is still crumbly, add 1/4 cup more of the liquid and stir until the mixture is moist enough to stick together.
Place the chicken in a narrow bowl with the cavity facing upwards. Use a large spoon or your hand to fill the cavity with the stuffing. Secure the closing with a skewer. Put any excess stuffing in a baking dish just large enough to hold it.
Put the chicken directly in a roasting pan or baking dish just large enough to hold it with the breasts facing up. Combine the butter and herbs in a small bowl. Separate the skin from the breast meat by sliding your hand gently between them. Spread the herb-butter under the skin over the entire breast area. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and put the chicken in the oven. Add any remaining liquid from the saucepan into the bottom of the roasting pan. Bake the chicken until a thermometer inserted into the thigh of the chicken reaches 180°F, about 1 1/2 hours total. (Put the extra stuffing in the oven after the chicken has cooked for 1 hour.)
Transfer the chicken to a platter and set the roasting pan aside. Spoon out the stuffing into a serving bowl and add any from the separate baking dish. Cover the chicken and stuffing with aluminum foil to keep warm. Remove and discard any oil from the chicken juices in the roasting pan. Stir half of the juices into the stuffing. Carve the chicken and arrange on the platter. Pour the remaining juices over the chicken and serve.