Roast chicken with spiced rice stuffing

I don’t cook rice very often, I like it but somehow I never quite seem to get it as light and fluffy as I like it. Much to my delight I had some left over rice in the fridge and from the moment I placed it there I knew I had to cook something nice with it. The weather has turned so suddenly and today was very windy and the rain was, at times, pouring down. It was a day that required a whole, roast chicken and I thought the left over rice would make a very nice stuffing. The man defied the weather and went to Robsons’ Butcher and came home with a lovely Label Angalis chicken for dinner(s). The Label Anglais chickens are free range and very juicy. It costs more than the super market chickens but after having made comparisons I think that the taste is better and one chicken can easily make for 3 or even 4 dinners if I make chicken stock from the bones.

10Oct_Chicken

I had a look around in my cupboards to see what I had to go with the rice stuffing and thought Asian flavours would be very nice. I have to admit even thinking about it made me anticipate dinner!

Previously this year when faced with a particularly large marrow I cubed it and infused it with ginger. It is too strong in flavour to eat on it’s own but it works great in food and I used this in the rice.

Roast chicken with spiced rice stuffing 

Preparation time 15 minutes 

Cooking time 1 ½ hours 

Oven, start at 200C or 400F and then lower to 175C or 350F

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 3 dl or 1 ½ cup of cooked rice
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 heaped tsp of szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tbsp seasalt
  • 1 handful of coriander
  • 1 handful of spinach leaves
  • 1 red chilli
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tbsp of ginger marrow
  • the zest of 1 orange
  • the orange fillets
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 dl or 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • sesame oil

Start by rinsing the chicken and pat it dry. If the giblets are there and you want to use them rinse them and place them at the bottom of the roasting tray.

Cut up the celery, chop the coriander and the spinach. Zest the orange and cut out the orange fillets by cutting off the orange peel and then cut along the segments. chop the chilli fine and crush the garlic. Toast the szechuan pepper corns and the star anise, then grind them. Add everything to the rice and mix.

11Oct_ChickenStuffing

I used a wide ended funnel to get the stuffing in to the chicken. Once it was stuffed I used the half lemon to “seal”. I poured the chicken stock and the soy sauce in to the roasting tray, glazed the chicken with sesame oil all around and roast in 200C or 400F for 30-40 minutes and the turn the oven down and cook for another hour or until the juice from the chicken is clear and the chicken is cooked through.

10Oct_RoastChicken

When the chicken was resting I put the cooking liquid through a sieve and skimmed the fat off the top. I then mixed some arrow root with cold water and thickened the sauce. I also took some sweetcorn and broad beans from the freezer and pan fried with a little pancetta. The rice was very fragrant with the spices and the smell was incredible. If you are cooking for more than two people just double or triple the rice and the ingredients and cook the rest in tin foil and before serving mix it with the rice stuffed in the chicken.

10Oct_ChickenDinner

The spices in the rice really came through and I think the rice might have been even nicer than the chicken! The rice was truly transformed and fragrant and the celery gave it a nice crunch. When done I picked the meat from the bones for another dinner. I made a stock from the bones and placed in the freezer for another day.

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