Roast Chicken With CousCous, Dried Cherry and Walnut Stuffing
This makes heaps of stuffing – you could use it for a turkey instead, or cook the extra alongside the chicken.
For the stuffing:
In a saucepan, bring the chicken stock to the boil, add the saffron and set aside to infuse for 20 mins. Bring back to the boil before adding to the couscous.
In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the oil, add the onion and garlic and cook gently until soft but uncoloured. Add the couscous and stir to coat, remove from the heat, then add the hot chicken stock and dried cherries, cover with a lid and set aside for 10 mins. Fluff up with a fork and allow to cool.
Add the egg, walnut meal, spring onions, parsley and lemon zest and mix well. Season to taste. This can be made a day ahead and kept chilled until needed.
For the chicken:
Preheat the oven to 220°C
Bring the chicken and stuffing to room temperature. Pat dry the chicken and season the cavities with salt and fill with the stuffing. If you have extra stuffing, wrap in an oiled piece of baking paper, then wrap in tin foil and cook alongside in the last 40 mins.
Secure the cavities with toothpicks then tie up the chicken with string. Brush with the butter and lemon juice. Season generously with salt. Weigh the chicken. Whole stuffed birds need to cook for around 55mins per kg with 20 mins extra cooking time when cooking at 180°C.
Put into a roasting dish with the chicken stock and put into the oven, roast for 20 mins, then turn the oven down to 180°C and cook for 70-80 mins. The juices should run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. Rest for 15 mins before serving. If using gravy, defrost, heat and serve alongside the chicken.
For the couscous stuffing:
1½ cups chicken stock
pinch of saffron (optional)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup couscous
½ cup dried cherries, halved
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup Uncle Joe’s walnut meal
3 spring onions, sliced
1 cup flat leafed parsley, chopped
1 lemon, grated zest
For the chicken:
1 x size 14 Bostock chicken (if using a larger chicken adjust cooking time accordingly)
25g butter, melted
juice 1 lemon
1 cup chicken stock
1 tub F.U.S. light brown gravy