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Author Notes: This recipe produces the tastiest couscous I've ever had, fragrant with the sweet blossom of orange zest, nuts, dried fruit all cooked in a chicken belly steamer, with drumsticks, thighs and other delicious chicken parts to boot. —Kitchen Butterfly
Makes a whole meal
- 1/2 cup of couscous
- 3/4 cup of chicken stock or water
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 orange, zested and fruit halves reserved
- 1/4 cup flaked almonds
- 1/4 cup salted pistachios, shelled
- Pinch of chilli pepper/chilli flakes
- 1/3 cup black olives (optional), chopped
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup currants
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon - tablespoon cumin, dry roasted in oil and roughly crushed
- Pinch of Turmeric
- Salt to taste
- 1 raw whole chicken, 1 - 1.5 kg
- First make the couscous - heat the stock/water till boiling. Add the couscous, stir, adjust seasoning and let cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the butter with a fork and cover and let stand till completely cold. (To speed up the process, spread out on a tray to cool faster)
- In a bowl, combine the couscous, orange zest, almonds, pistachios, chilli pepper, black olives, dried cherries, currants, dried mint, cumin and turmeric together. Stir well. Adjust seasoning. Then using the reserved orange halves, squeeze the juice of one half over the couscous and stir again.
- Preheat the oven to about 250 degrees C.
- Rinse the chicken and pat dry, then lightly salt all over, including the cavity. Put the chicken in a bowl and hold it, legs up so you're looking down into the cavity. Using a small cooking spoon, scoop the couscous into the cavity,gently packing it in.
- To seal the cavity, use the other orange half, cut side in to close it off. Pull the breast skin over and secure with poultry noodles till closed.
- Place on a baking tray, breast side up and squeeze some more fresh orange juice over the top as well as some olive oil.
- Put in the centre of the preheated oven and roast for an hour - an hour and a half or until the thigh juices run clear when pierced.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 - 15 minutes, then gently remove the poultry pins and scoop out the couscous. Serve with the chicken, coriander chutney (recipe on food 52) and anything else you desire
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Middle Eastern Recipe
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Citrus & Olives