I kept my holiday menu very simple but I did peak into a few cookbooks for inspiration. I mentioned in the previous post about The Monday Morning Cooking Club and their first book, which I used for the honey cake. I also got this Couscous Roast Chicken from there.
The meat comes out tender and juicy and the stuffing is part savory, part citrus-y, part sweet and has a great crunch from the pistachios. It's truly a wonderful one pan meal that comes together nicely with minimal mess (a major bonus in my eyes).
Couscous Roast Chicken
from The Monday Morning Cooking Club
125g (2/3 cup) couscous
6 saffron threads
finely grated zest of 1 lemon or orange
large pinch of ground cinnamon
185ml (3/4 cup) boiling chicken stock (I used water)
80g (1/2 cup) dry roasted almonds or pistachios, coarsely chopped
12 dried apricots or dates, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped mint
2 large chickens
125ml (1/2 cup) olive oil
Preheat oven to 200C. Grease a large roasting tin or baking dish.
To make the couscous stuffing, put the couscous in a heatproof bowl and pour over the boiling chicken stock (or water). Cover and leave to soak. After a few minutes, fluff with a fork, then add all the other stuffing ingredients.
Wash the chicken inside and out and pat dry with paper towel. Stuff each chicken lightly with the couscous mixture and place in the prepared tin, breast side up. Tie the drumsticks together with kitchen strings or baking paper*
Brush the chickens with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180C and cook for a further 60-70 minutes, or until the chickens are golden brown and cooked through (the juices will run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer). To serve, cut each chicken into 4 and place on a serving dish. Sprinkle the couscous stuffing around the chicken pieces.
*I placed leftover couscous in a cooking bag and baked it with the chickens.