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Roasted chicken stuffed with couscous, apricots and dates

epicure 5 March 2014
Type of Meal
Vegetarian-friendly No

Couscous is to Moroccans what rice is to Asians. Use this versatile ingredient as a stuffing for a unique twist to your roast chicken.

ServesPrep time 30 minutes
Cook time 90 minutes

couscous stuffing
250g couscous
½ tsp salt
225ml warm water
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp golden raisins
125g ready-to-eat dried apricots, thickly sliced
125g ready-to-eat dates, thickly sliced or chopped
2-3 tbsp almonds, blanched and roasted

2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tsp dried oregano or thyme
1-2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 large organic chicken, about 1½kg
juice of 1 orange
150ml chicken stock

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • To make the stuffing, tip couscous into a large bowl.
  • Stir salt into warm water and pour it over couscous. Stir all the time so that the water is absorbed evenly.
  • Leave the couscous to swell for about 10 minutes.
  • Using your fingers, rub the olive oil into the couscous to break up lumps and aerate it.
  • Stir in the other stuffing ingredients and set aside.
  • Place smashed garlic, oregano and paprika into softened butter, then smear it all over the chicken inside and out.
  • Stuff the chicken with couscous stuffing. Squeeze orange juice over the chicken.
  • Pour stock into the base of the tagine and roast the chicken in the oven for about 1 hour, until it is cooked.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
  • Strain the cooking juices into a jug and heat up any remaining couscous as described above.
  • Serve this with the chicken. Pour the jug of cooking juices over a green salad.

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