Moroccan style roast chicken stuffed with couscous

Yield: 4 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 \N 3 lb chicken
3 ounces Raisins
3 tablespoons Dry white wine
½ teaspoon Saffron threads; chopped
175 grams Instant couscous
¾ pint Water
6 tablespoons Unsalted butter
2 mediums Onions; chopped
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
3 ounces Sliced almonds; toasted
\N \N Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon Honey

For the stuffing, soak the raisins in hot water to cover for 30 minutes.

Drain and set aside. Heat the wine in a small saucepan over a medium heat until warm. Remove from the heat, add the saffron, and let steep for 15 minutes.

Put the couscous in a shallow baking dish (a 9 inch square will do fine).

Heat the water and 4 tablespoons of butter to boiling, then pour over the couscous and stir well. Cover with foil and allow to stand for 15 minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saute pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until soft and without colour - for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the cinnamon and cook for 2 minutes. Add the saffron infused wine and cook for 1 minute. Stir the onion mixture, raisins, almonds and honey (if using) into the couscous. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cool.

Spread the spice rub under the skin of the chicken - being careful not to tear the skin. Spread on the outside of the skin also.

Preheat the oven to 450F, spoon the cooled stuffing into the cavities of the chicken also. Place the chicken on a rack in a shallow roasting tin or sheet pan. Roast, basting occasionally with the spices, until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer (for about 45 minutes).

Serve immediately.

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