Deboned Whole Roasted Chicken with a Couscous Stuffing

boned chicken

Sunday roast, free -range chicken looking the most economical thing available. Baby zucchini and baby squash looking tasty. Couldn’t be bothered making breadcrumbs so couscous seemed a nice alternative and so it went from there.

I’d recently been taught how to debone quail so a chicken, in theory, should be easier because of its size. Bit too hard to explain it here but there are key points to keep in mind that should allow for reasonable latitude of success with messing about:

  1. Turn the chicken breast down and cut along the backbone from top to tail.
  2. Reach in an detatch what I can only describe as the two shoulder blades, just to either side of the backbone and a little back from the front.
  3. Cut along the frame of the ribcage until you get to the point where you can pull the frame out. Pop out the wishbone and dislocate the wings and legs.
  4. Remove the frame, trimming as necessary and reserve it for stock.

If it doesn’t work out, you can always barbecue it or chop it up into chicken curry. My new best friend is the Victorinox Curved Paring knife. Cheap and works well with fiddly stuff.

Marinated chicken in a mix of parsley, rosemary, tarragon, garlic, salt, lemon juice and olive oil. A sprinkle of paprika all over

Coucous with a mix of chopped baby zucchini and squash, pine nuts, chilli, garlic, half a finely chopped lime, one chopped tomato, salt, pepper, and a generous dab of butter and olive oil for internal moistiness. Placed inside the chicken. Bring the skin up around and close with a couple of wooden skewers and tie up with string to maintain shape.

Roasted in the oven and basted with a pan juices and olive oil until the juices ran clear. Give it a bit of a push with your thumb if you’re not sure, it should still have a little spring in it.

stuffed chicken

Deglaze the roasting pan with the chicken stock you made out of the bones. Put the excess couscous into the dariole moulds you bought last week. And serve.

stuff chicken plated

Moisty tasty joy.

and:Avast me chickens!

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  1. deborah’s avatar

    Ooooh served here as well. I like.

    I was going to say earlier, that they chicken looks like a happy chicken. The kinda chicken who would skipped across the road.

  2. deborah’s avatar

    Bleh, typos. You knowwhatimean.

  3. Matt’s avatar


    Awesome site you’ve got here. Came across it while looking for other Perth food bloggers, and must say im impressed, and extremely jealous that you got to work with Neil Jackson.

    My experience with Jackson’s only goes as far as eating there on occasion, and it’s been unreal each time.

    Anyway, just wanted to say keep up the good work, and look forward to reading more of your eloquent ramblings :)


  4. Anthony’s avatar

    It was free-range and its life honoured in the kitchen.

    Hello and thank you, it’s like an awesome giant ball of accumulated lacky bands. I was pretty lucky with that opportunity, I’m not sure if anybody is jealous of Neal Jackson becuase he worked with me.

    “eloquent ramblings” is a nice a compliment as I’ve had. Always welcome here.

  5. ejm’s avatar

    Sink me! Thar be goodlookin’ grub. But nex’ time ye be best t’ put preserved lemon in th’ couscous.

    -Black Mary Flint

    (I have NO idea how it is I knew about this day!)

  6. Anthony’s avatar

    Arrrr ’tis so but there be pieces o’ cumquat in vodka in me ice chest for later.


  7. ejm’s avatar

    Cumquat in grog, say ye? T’ain’t that better fer afters mayhap wi’ a bit o’ cream that’s seen th’ cat? -Black Mary

    (The nice thing about the preserved lemon is the saltiness mixed with the citrus. It’s also good to have a few pieces of dried fruit for contrast – apricots or prunes. )

  8. Anthony’s avatar

    Arrrr me hearty ah it’s the 20th. About another few weeks on the cumquats and the lemon tree was just planted earlier this year.

  9. Reid’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    You made this and you didn’t invite me for dinner? Hmmm! I guess I couldn’t come anyway, I wouldn’t be able to bring my fiddly Scout’s knife with me on the plane.

    BTW…I’ve never deboned a chicken in my life…and you make it sound so easy, so it must be difficult.

    AND…is that pan with the chicken in it catching some rays on someone’s lawn? LOL!

  10. bramble’s avatar

    So free range it needs to be roasted on grass…

    Cous-cous stuffing: d*mn fine idea. One to poach for the future, cheffy.

  11. Anthony’s avatar

    Hey Reid

    Beware of “fiddly scouts” and their knives. You do, of course, have invitation for life and I’ve instructed my butler to allow any Japanese-American lad answering to the name of Reid into the premises.

    My easy peasy banter is getting a few suspicious but it’s not that bad, it just takes time. I would have taken the good part of fifteen minutes .

    : ) Nicely browned.

    Hi Bramble
    Ha! Free range right until it hits the oven.
    Duffer me says go right ahead and you don’t have to use asterixes here, post below has just collapsed into lewdity.

  12. Kate’s avatar

    I was going to make some sort of crass quip about boning chickens but I decided it was beneath me. Ahem.

  13. Anthony’s avatar

    It’s all beneath you, in the post underneath.

  14. J’s avatar

    hi anthony, that looks lovely, like an arabesque ballotine…you do make it sound easy! have nearly lost two fingers in the process before. then again, am inordinately clumsy. paring knife looks like a nifty tool to have. between that and my trusty serrated poultry shears, i might just be able to do this…

  15. Anthony’s avatar

    I must remember to consult with you before I name my dishes, for my own sanity, tell me they don’t just roll off the tongue.

    The curvy paring knife is great to use, it works like an extension of the index finger. Good for criss-crossing pork skin too. Well worth a go.

  16. Anonymous’s avatar

    I hate reading your blog Anthony. Because I always forget to put a sheet of glad wrap over the keyboard before I do.

  17. Anthony’s avatar

    Just bookmark the next post if it gets too excessive. : )

  18. Dawna’s avatar

    Hi Anthony,

    What a beautiful dish! I’ve been thinking about making this sort of dish, and your post is quite inspiring. I’ll have to try it soon…

  19. Anthony’s avatar

    Hey Dawna

    I hope you do. I’m thinking of turkey for Christmas.

  20. keiko’s avatar

    Anthony, I love the shot on top – it’s kind of dreamy but has got a suspense feel (say David Lynch) too… The chicken looks really lovely, you know I do roasting at least once a week, I’m becoming more and more British…

  21. Anthony’s avatar

    Hi Keiko

    Yes. You’re very much on the money there. The chicken scene from Eraserhead meets the grass of Blue Velvet. I like it too, it’s got that dreamy horror feel.

    No excuse for not making roasts if you’ve got an oven. It was a bit hard in a toaster oven in my Tokyo apartment.

  22. mt life goal’s avatar

    I notice that your comprehending of this subject is deep and complete. What a delicacy to locate someone writing who not only offers knowledge but also the opportunity to connect by means of easy to imagine and remember info-bytes. Blog much more!

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