RECIPE | Moorish-style stuffed roast chicken

Harissa paste lends an exotic flavour to this festive roast. The herbed butternut stuffing works equally well with turkey, so feel free to swap out the chicken if you wish

22 December 2019 - 00:00 By Lyn Woodward
Moorish-style stuffed roast chicken.
Moorish-style stuffed roast chicken.
Image: Christoph Hoffman

Serves: 6-8


1 x 1.5 - 1.8kg chicken (or small turkey)

45ml (3 tbsp) butter

1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


15ml (1 tbsp) oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 red pepper, diced

2.5ml (½ tsp) fresh thyme, chopped

30ml (2 tbsp) fresh parsley, chopped

400g butternut squash, diced and cooked

30ml (2 tbsp) harissa paste

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

80ml (⅓ cup) milk

1 egg, beaten

500ml (2 cups) soft white breadcrumbs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Pat chicken dry with paper towel. Mix butter and lemon zest and rub over chicken, and under skin of breast. Squeeze lemon juice over chicken and season well with salt and pepper.
  3. For stuffing, place oil in a pan and cook onion until translucent. Add red pepper and herbs and cook til fragrant. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add butternut, harissa paste, lemon zest, milk, egg, breadcrumbs and seasoning.
  4. Loosely spoon stuffing into cavity and place remaining stuffing in an ovenproof dish covered with foil. Close cavity with foil.
  5. Roast chicken in oven for 30 minutes, reduce temperature to 180°C and loosely cover with foil. Cook for 50 – 70 minutes, or until juices from thickest part of thigh run clear when pierced with a knife. Baste several times with pan juices, during roasting.
  6. Cook remaining stuffing in oven in last 30 minutes of cooking.
  7. Rest chicken for 10 minutes before carving.