Whole Chicken with Dried Fruit Stuffing
When I first started going on the road to do demonstrations for synagogues and Jewish organizations (way before my first baking book came out), I taught how to prepare entire meals, and I made this chicken dish all over the country. The stuffing recipe makes a generous amount, so if you are cooking for a big crowd and roast three chickens, you only need to double the stuffing recipe.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped into ¼-inch pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 cup pitted prunes, chopped into ½-inch pieces
- 1 cup dried apricots, chopped into ⅓-inch pieces
- ¼ cup currants or raisins
- 1 large apple, any kind, peeled and chopped into ⅓-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 large whole chicken
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- Salt and black pepper
- To make the stuffing, in a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 8 minutes, or until they begin to brown. Add the prunes, apricots, currants, apple, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper, and stir. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a medium bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- To make the chicken, place the chicken in a roasting pan. Stuff as much of the dried fruit mixture as you can fit into the cavity of the chicken. Place any leftover stuffing in a small baking dish, cover with aluminum foil, and set aside. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over the chicken, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of the turmeric, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Use gloves, or cover your hand with a plastic baggie, and rub the oil and turmeric all over the chicken. Turn the chicken over. Add the other tablespoon oil, the remaining ½ teaspoon turmeric, and more salt and pepper; rub all over the chicken. Leave the chicken, breast side down, in the roasting pan.
- Roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Carefully turn the chicken over and roast, breast side up, for another 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Add the covered pan of extra stuffing to the oven. Roast the chicken and bake the stuffing for 50 minutes more, or until the juices run clear when you pierce the chicken with a fork.
- Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes and then cut it into pieces for serving. Scoop the stuffing out of the chicken and combine it with the stuffing that was cooked separately. Serve the chicken pieces over the stuffing and drizzle some of the pan juices on top.
- Recipe reprinted with permission from The New Passover Menu by Paula Shoyer (Sterling Publishing, 2015). Photo by Michael Bennett Kress.