- 30g butter
Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 red chilli, halved, deseeded and chopped
- 150g couscous
Consisting of many tiny granules made from steamed and dried durum wheat, couscous has become a…
- 250ml hot chicken stock
- 40g dates, pitted and chopped
- 30g dried barberries
- 25g walnuts, roughly chopped
Walnuts are one of the most popular and versatile of all nuts. When picked young, they're…
- 10g coriander, chopped
- 10g parsley, chopped
One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…
- 8 spring onions, finely chopped
Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…
- 2kg whole chicken
While it's the traditional Christmas bird, turkey is good to eat all year round, though…
- Greek yogurt and green salad, to serve (optional)
For the saffron butter
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Melt half the butter in a pan over a medium heat and fry the onion until soft. Add the garlic, cumin, ginger and chilli, and cook for 2 mins more. Stir in the couscous, then pour over the stock and tip in the dates and barberries. Turn off the heat, cover and leave for 15 mins for the couscous to absorb the liquid.
Use a fork to stir the walnuts, herbs and spring onions through the couscous. Leave to cool.
Stuff the chicken with the cooled couscous mixture, pushing it well into the cavity. Let the excess spill out into the tin, then slide it under the chicken to act as a trivet. Rub the remaining butter all over the chicken. Season, then roast for 1 hr 15 mins. Keep an eye on it and if the couscous stuffing that’s spilled out is getting too dark, cover it with foil.
To make the saffron butter, melt the unsalted butter, then add a generous pinch of saffron and let this sit for about 30 mins, to allow the butter to be properly infused. About 10 mins before the end of the cooking time, pour over the chicken. Serve with Greek yogurt and a green salad, if you like.
Saffron switchIf you don't like saffron but you're happy to add a bit of heat, use a little ground cayenne pepper instead.