Cumin-spiced roast chicken with pork & pistachio stuffing in a roasting tray

Cumin-spiced roast chicken with pork & pistachio stuffing

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Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 40 mins Plus chilling and resting

More effort

Serves 4

Looking for an alternative to turkey? The lush green pistachio stuffing in this spiced roast chicken is very festive, so it's ideal for Christmas lunch

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal981
  • fat68g
  • saturates24g
  • carbs22g
  • sugars18g
  • fibre6g
  • protein68g
  • salt2.7g
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Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken (around 2kg)
    Chicken

    Chicken

    chik-en

    Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it…

  • 3-4 tbsp grape molasses
  • 1l chicken stock
  • 20g butter
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

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

For the spice rub

  • pinch ground cumin
    Cumin

    Cumin

    q-min

    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    Cinnamon

    Cinnamon

    sin-ah-mun

    A fragrant spice which comes from the inner bark of a tropical tree. When dried, it curls into…

  • 5 cardamom pods, seeds removed and lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
    Nutmeg

    Nutmeg

    nut-meg

    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 3 cloves, crushed
    Cloves

    Clove

    klo-ve

    The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…

  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

For the cavity aromatics

  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 100g green grapes
  • 1 tsp grape molasses

For the stuffing

  • 250g pork mince
  • 125g salted roasted pistachios, finely crushed (you can toast pistachios in a pan with a sprinkle of salt to make these)
  • 50g pistachio paste or ground pistachios
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2½ cm piece ginger, grated
    Ginger

    Ginger

    jin-jer

    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 tsp grape molasses
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
    Cumin

    Cumin

    q-min

    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

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

Method

  1. Make the stuffing by blending the ingredients with 1 tsp salt in a food processor, taking care not to purée it – a little bit of crunch here and there makes it all the more satisfying. Check the seasoning by frying a tsp of the stuffing and tasting – adjust if you need to.

  2. Put a piece of cling film on a chopping board and dollop on the stuffing, patting it out to rough circle just smaller than the surface of the breast meat to be covered. Make the layer thicker at one end, for the bottom end of the breasts where the meat is thinner – the extra thickness will help to keep it juicy and cook evenly. Cover with cling film and chill for 30 mins to set.

  3. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Pat the chicken dry all over using kitchen paper. From the neck end, push your fingers under the layer of skin on the breasts and wriggle them gently to release the skin and open up the pocket for the stuffing. Push right down – you will need to cover the entire breast meat area with the stuffing – but be careful not to tear the skin.

  4. Make the spice rub by combining all the ingredients. Rub it generously over the chicken and inside the cavity, then insert the aromatics into the cavity. Unwrap the stuffing, halve it, then push half under the skin of each of the breasts, thin end first. Cover the chicken loosely with foil so the spices don’t burn.

  5. Roast the chicken for 1 hr 10 mins. Mix 3 tbsp grape molasses with 1 tbsp hot water, brush over the skin, then increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and return the chicken for 20 mins to crisp up the skin. Baste twice more with molasses at 5-min intervals. Test the chicken in the thigh and breast to make sure it is cooked – the juices should run clear. Take the cavity aromatics out of the chicken and set aside (don’t worry if you can’t get them all). Leave the chicken to rest for 45 mins somewhere warm, but don’t cover the skin so it stays crisp.

  6. Meanwhile, pour the fat out of the roasting tin (there will be lots, which you can sieve and keep in the fridge for up to a week to use for cooking), leaving the juices behind. Add a little chicken stock and the cavity aromatics to the tin and bring to a boil, then sieve into a pan. Add the rest of the stock, simmer until reduced by half, then stir in 1 tsp grape molasses. Just before serving, add the resting juices from the chicken to the pan and bring the sauce back to the boil. Taste for seasoning and stir in the butter.

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