Roast chicken with couscous & pine nut stuffing

Roast chicken with couscous & pine nut stuffing

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(38 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 1 hr, 10 mins


Serves 8
Delicious hot or cold and perfect for a picnic, this stuffed chicken will be a real family favourite

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal348
  • fat20g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs16g
  • sugars9g
  • fibre2g
  • protein26.3g
  • salt1.32g
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  • 100g couscous



    Consisting of many tiny granules made from steamed and dried durum wheat, couscous has become a…

  • 175ml boiling chicken stock
  • 50g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 100g pine nut
  • 140g dried apricot, roughly chopped
  • large handful parsley, roughly chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • 2 tbsp mint leaves, roughly chopped



    There are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…

  • 1 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 1 egg, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 6 skinless chicken breast
  • 16 rashers streaky bacon


  1. Put couscous in a large heatproof bowl, pour over stock, then cover with cling film for 5 mins until liquid is absorbed. Melt half the butter in a pan, then gently cook onion and garlic for 5-8 mins until soft. Set aside. Dry-fry pine nuts for a few mins until golden. Combine onions, pine nuts, apricots and herbs with couscous. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice, season, then stir in egg. Leave to cool.

  2. Using the back of a knife, stretch rashers to 1½ times their original length. Lay, slightly overlapping, on a large sheet of foil to form a rectangle. Make a few slashes in the thickest part of each chicken breast and lay between 2 sheets of cling film. Use the base of a heavy pan to bash the chicken until about 1cm thick. Arrange chicken over the bacon, fitting so there are no gaps, but leave a border on longer sides. (This helps to roll up the chicken.)

  3. Spoon stuffing over chicken in a strip along one of the longest sides. Using tin foil to help, roll bacon and chicken around stuffing like a log. Wrap tightly in foil, twisting the ends to secure, then chill for 2 hrs or up to 1 day.

  4. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Place chicken, join-side down, in a roasting tray. Cook for 30 mins, then unwrap foil and brush roast with remaining butter. Cook, uncovered, for 20-30 mins more until cooked through, and the stuffing is hot (a metal skewer inserted into the chicken’s centre should come out hot). Cool and wrap in fresh foil to transport.

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Comments (55)

Jojamad's picture

Fantastic centrepiece for a dinner party. There's plenty of stuffing which I used to stuff red peppers for a veggie guest. Everyone loved it, well worth the effort.

bjconroy's picture

I made this for a large family picnic, It was very well received and looked stunning. I kept it in the fridge overnight but even then the stuffing fell out when I removed the tinfoil, so I re wrapped it in baking parchment and took that off about 15 minutes before the end cooking time, next time I might try to tie it . The stuffing was delicious and it was a huge success

spmonica's picture

Hi... just a question... was planning on trying this, but would like to know what the alternative could be to the bacon? Some people in the family are not fond of pork. Want to try this for christmas. THANKS!

darcygirl55's picture

Followed the recipe - result was great. Everyone liked it. And ive had it cold today. As other people have said - there is alot of stuffing - approx a third too much but its a very tasty couscous. There is quite a lot of preparation required for this recipe but its worth it for wow value.

michaelm's picture

This turned out relly well, my only problem was I may have been heavy handed flattening the chicken breasts. I had to cut it in half to fit in the oven

hparkes's picture

Fantastic recipe. It looked just like the picture! I made and chilled for a day before cooking and it held together very well. Served cold for a picnic. Yum.

voirrey1's picture

Fantastic and tasty yet so simple, lovely

viclamballe's picture

Made this for a dinner party, looks really impressive and the chicken tasted fantastic!

barrins's picture

oppps forgot to rate it

barrins's picture

I made this last weekend for a dinner party, it was amazing and everone was very impressed as i sliced it at the table.
I prepared it the night before as I had read comments on here that it can fall apart. As i had left it to stand overnight it didnt fall apart at all.
I replaced apricots with roasted red peppers and I also cut it in half, it held together better and didnt take as lon to cook.
There was alot of coscous left so i served that as an extra side dish.
Great for a dinner party especially as it can be prepared the night before!

barrins's picture

I made this last weekend for a dinner party, it was amazing and everone was very impressed as i sliced it at the table.
I prepared it the night before as I had read comments on here that it can fall apart. As i had left it to stand overnight it didnt fall apart at all.
I replaced apricots with roasted red peppers and I also cut it in half, it held together better and didnt take as lon to cook.
There was alot of coscous left so i served that as an extra side dish.
Great for a dinner party especially as it can be prepared the night before!

lindseymartin's picture

Have made this a few times now and it has always turned out well - and just like the illustration. Have taken it twice to a Glyndebourne picnic as my contribution. Stuffing has always been just the right quantity but it has occasionally taken slightly longer to cook - although I have changed ovens meantimes so that could be why. Can't recommend it highly enough and the apricots do create a lovely balance to the savoury meat, bacon and herbs.

emmaauty's picture

Really enjoyed this. I had trouble rolling it though - should have put two pieces of foil together 'portrait' style, to have more spare edge for rolling it up. I ended up with about 4 layers of foil to hold it together and it didn't make a neat roll like in the picture - but the taste was great. Next time I wouldn't bother with the pine nuts, which i didn't think added too much to the flavour and are an expensive ingredient that I don't usually have in the house.

petergrace's picture

Our friend served this to us about 2 months ago - it was excellent and we've prepared it ourselves 4 or 5 times since. We've always served it hot but there's always been plenty left over for a delicious cold lunch the following day(s) - it's really nice in a heated and split pitta bread. A truly fabulous recipe.

misshyip's picture

This was very easy to make, a bit fiddly, but so rewarding! Really impressive and so good for feeding a larger number of people. I've made this twice already :)

muccapazza's picture

Update from above.... You can freeze it before you cook it!

I prepared it all from fresh ingredients ( I used a turkey breast, cut it lengthways and opened it out like a book, bashed it a bit then added the stuffing - I used sundried tomato and garlic cous cous) then wrapped the bacon around it with the foil) I then put another covering of foil around it and put it in the freezer - it was there about a week.

I defrosted it at room temperature for 12-14 hours then put it in the fridge until I needed to cook it later that day. The turkey breast looked a bit bigger than the picture so I cooked it for 45 minutes covered and 45 minutes uncovered - turning the temperature up quite high for the last 15 minutes to get the bacon really crispy.

It was really delicious and looked great too! My dad even liked it and he HATES chicken or turkey! We had it with new potatoes, green beans, carrots and broccoli and some chicken gravy.

Am currently eating some cold now for lunch with salad.

suzannelprice's picture

I made it for a dinner party and everybody really loved it. it was easy to make and as everyone else has said it tastes great cold the day after too.

maacka's picture

Amazing recipe!!! Couldn't believe it turned out looking as good as on the picture and it tasted fabulous too!
As other reviewers mentioned, there was quite a lot leftover stuffing, but otherwise perfect ... will be definitely making this again...

seeker30's picture

Made this a couple of days ago, and it was a spectacular dish. Even my kids loved it. Next day cold, was just as good. Kept to exact recipe. The couscous is also great just on it's own as a cold side dish, just omit the egg. Will definitely make this again

lizzielizzert's picture

I served this at a luncheon today for 8 ladies. We ate it hot - with a warm salad of blanched broad beans, runner beans and mangetout. (with spring onion and baby tomatoes for colour). A light drizzle of Olive oil and a squeeze of lemon and some home-baked bread finished it off. Can highly recommend - it can be put together the night before - and then all it needs in an hour in the oven


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