Roast Whole Chicken with Sherry, Honey and Dried Fruit Couscous

This whole chicken recipe has Moroccan origins. It is a great way of keeping the chicken moist throughout the cooking. You can omit the couscous if you like and start from paragraph 5 in the method. Stuff the chicken with a lemon, a head of garlic, and some rosemary. If you want to use olive oil instead of butter, you can! Furthermore, white wine or cider will also do the job. The best way to cook a whole chicken is to cook it slowly at low temperature for longer and then turn up the oven at the end to achieve the Maillard reaction. You can brine you chicken (8% brine solution) overnight for a more complex flavour, as the brine will help keep the chicken juicy and moist. Brine breaks down the protein and makes for softer meat.

Ingredients


  • 50g raisins
  • 100g couscous
  • 200ml boiling water
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 25g flaked almonds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Whole chicken
  • 500ml Manzanilla sherry (or white wine)
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper (optional)

Method

  1. Mix the raisins and the dry couscous and add boiling water. Cover and allow to stand for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Sweat the onion in half the butter and add to the couscous.
  3. Toast the almonds and add to the couscous with the cinnamon and the honey.
  4. Stuff the chicken and place in a casserole dish.
  5. Rub the remaining butter over the chicken and season with sea salt and black pepper.
  6. Cook for 30 minutes in a 160°C oven, and then pour over half the sherry. Cook for a further 30 minutes, basting occasionally.
  7. After 1 hour, pour the rest of the sherry over the chicken and cook for a further 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 65°C. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
  8. Serve with some yogurt and crisp green salad.




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