Roast Chicken with Fragrant Brown Rice Stuffing

Roast chicken has always been a favourite dish in my household. In fact, when my boys where teenagers, I would have to roast 2 large chickens because 1 was never enough and, even then, I’d have to choose my piece quickly or I’d end up with the carcass to eat.

I have yet to come across anyone who doesn’t like roast chicken, especially when it’s crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and has yummy stuffing like this one. I really love the nutty flavour of the brown rice and the sweetness of the capsicum and onions. I’m sure you will love this roast because it’s one of those dishes that you can feel is doing you good while you’re eating it.

Growing up, roast chicken was a dish reserved for Sunday lunch or dinner mainly because it took so long to prepare and cook but, with a little planning and preparation, I can manage to have a roast chicken meal on the table in about 1 hour (give or take a few minutes) after arriving home from work.

The night before I want to roast a chicken, I prepare the stuffing, allow it to cool and put it in the fridge. I rinse and wipe the chicken, then  cover it with kitchen paper and store it in the fridge (this allows the skin to dry out resulting in really crispy skin). As soon as I get home the next day I turn on the oven, kick off my shoes, then put the prepared stuffing inside the chicken cavity. I then season and oil the chicken on the outside and pop it in the oven.  While the chicken is cooking, I whip up a GREEK SALAD to serve with the roast. Finally,  I pour myself a glass of wine as a reward for all my hard work and relax – that’s the best part!

IMG_0502What you need

  • 1 Free Range fresh chicken
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste
  • Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the stuffing

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice – drained
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion – finely chopped
  • ½ red capsicum finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

What to do

Prepare chicken by rinsing it inside and out with cold water.

Use paper towel to wipe the chicken cavity and the skin to remove any moisture. This will ensure you end up with a roast chicken with crispy skin.

If time allows, place the chicken in the refrigerator uncovered for a couple of hours to allow the skin to dry out further.

Preheat the oven to 200oC.

For the stuffing, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frypan on medium heat.

Add the chopped onions and capsicum, stir and cook for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.

Add the cooked rice, oregano, lemon rind and salt and pepper and stir to combine. Remove from heat.

Pour the oil over the chicken, then sprinkle with lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper. Rub in well over the entire chicken.

Spoon the stuffing in the cavity of the chicken. The rice needs a little room to expand as it cooks so don’t overstuff the chicken.

Place the chicken in a baking dish in the oven and roast until the chicken turns golden and cooks through – approximately 50 to 60 minutes depending on the size of the chicken. Baste the chicken using the juices in the bottom of the pan occasionally.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest covered loosely with foil for 10 – 15 minutes before carving and serving.

TIP: To test if the chicken is fully cooked, use a skewer to pierce the thickest part of the thigh and, if the juice runs clear, then the chicken is cooked. Otherwise return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.