At first, stuffing a roast chicken may sound daunting (believe me, I was very nervous) but it was surprisingly simple! Like any roast chicken, the oven does all the work. Plus, normally when you buy a whole chicken the inner cavity is already cleaned out and ready to go!
I adapted this recipe slightly form Mark's original recipe. He used white basmati rice as is but I couldn't help but have some color in the rice. I sprinkled some Turmeric, a spice that gives gorgeous yellow color to rice. The results were fantastic! And honestly, who doesn't love pistachios? Especially when they are sauteed in butter. MMmm. On to the recipe!
Roast Chicken with Rice-Pistachio Stuffing
adapted from Mark Bittman
1/2 cup basmati
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1/4 cup pistachios, shelled
Turmeric, enough to give some color (I just kept adding little by little until it reached the color I wanted)
Salt 'n' peppa to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 whole chicken, interior cavity cleaned (the butcher at the market already did this for me)
1 Bring a large pot of water to boil and season with salt. Add the basmati rice and simmer until tender, but not mush (this is very important). Wash and drain the cooked rice in a colander. Twice. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2 Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter or oil in a large skillet and toss in the pistachios. Stir for about 1 minute, add the cooked rice and stir. Season with salt, pepper, and turmeric until desired level of color.
3 Add lemon juice to the rice mixture. This mixture can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 2 days.
4 Stuff the chicken loosely with the rice/nut mixture. If there is some left over, leave it for the side dish.
5 Rub the chicken with the remaining butter or oil and season well with salt 'n' peppa. Place on a rack in a roasting pan (I use disposable ones) and cook for about 1.5 hours, depending on the size of your bird. Baste with oil or butter and pan juices about halfway through.
6 Remove chicken from the oven when done and let it rest for 5 minutes. Carve and serve with stuffing and pan juices.