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  • Writer's pictureDavid

Lemon Roast Chicken with Basil Rice Stuffing

Simple, succulent and something else starting with S

This is an absolute delight of a roast chicken. No need to cover it - it won't dry out, but the skin will be crispy to the bounds of joy. The stuffing is simple to make, and with the excess you can make rustic and basic arancini; without the breadcrumb coating, but crispy nonetheless.



a chicken - NO! Yes - really!


a lemon - I'm using preserved lemons, but really either is fine


olive oil (or any oil you fancy)


rice - I'm using jasmine

pine nuts




wasabi paste


Watch the video



  • Rinse the rice and cover it in cold water at a ratio of 2:1 - If you're using brown or wild rice, adjust to the instructions with your rice

  • Bring to the boil, then turn down to a low simmer, cover and leave for about 15 minutes. Basically you want to cook this for around 5 minutes less than you would normally; it'll cook the rest of the way in the oven

  • Let it cool down

  • Roughly chop up the basil

  • Mix it through the rice

  • Add salt, oil, pepper and pine nuts s to the mix

  • Stir that through

  • Add either lemon juice, or juice from the jar of preserved lemons

  • Add a good dod of wasabi paste


  • Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC

  • Thinly slice the garlic

  • Peel the lemon and thinly slice the rind - if using preserved lemons, slice the whole lemon thinly

  • Peel and roughly chop the onion - big chunks

  • Pop the chunks in a roasting tray and set the chicken on top

  • Stuff the cavity with the rice mix - really stuff it in

  • Any rice left over can be patted and rolled into balls and set on the tray to cook alongside the chicken

  • Stab small slits into the chicken - all over

  • Stuff each slit with a slice of garlic, or lemon - or both

  • Sprinkle the skin with some salt, then some oil, then plop knobs of butter onto it

  • Into the oven it goes: about 45 minutes per kilo plus 20 minutes

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