Stuffed whole chicken is a unique and festive Middle Eastern roast chicken recipe. Stuffing mix can be anything but freekeh and rice are the most common.
❤️ Why You'll Love It
- Stuffed chicken with tender meat and crispy skin is a pleasure to have on your holiday dinner table.
- If you are looking to include more healthy whole grains in your diet this is a delicious recipe to do so.
- Unique flavor nutty, smoky and chewy you are going to love the texture and flavor combination of this dish.
Note: This is an overview of the ingredients. You'll find the full measurements and instructions in the recipe card (printable) at the bottom of the page.
- Olive oil and butter
- Whole chicken
- Potatoes and carrots
- Spices: Black pepper, paprika, thyme, salt, sage, basil, cardamom.
Note: This is an overview of the instructions. The detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil and saute onion. Then add washed freekeh, season well and add half the amount of water needed to cook the freekeh.
- In a medium bowl combine butter with all the spices needed for the rubbing mix.
- Place chicken on a flat surface and pat dry with paper towel. Stuff chicken cavity with the freekeh mix and tie the legs.
- Rub the outside of the chicken with the spice mixture and make sure to rub the back too so the entire chicken is covered. In a large bowl mix the vegetables, any remaining freekeh with the remaining chicken rub. Place vegetable mix at the bottom of the pan and place the chicken over. Pour some water then cover with aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven until chicken cooks evenly.
💡Tips for Success
- Use whole freekeh for this recipe not the cracked one.
- Freekeh comes with stones and dirt so you need to thoroughly pick and wash it before cooking.
- Check your package before cooking freeked and check the amount of liquid needed for each cup.
- Whether I am making this dish with freekeh or rice I like to add a lot of black pepper to the mix. If you are not a fan, then feel free to reduce the amount of black pepper in the stuffing mix.
- You can cook the chicken in a sheet pan or a roasting pan.
- Cook until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 – 175 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
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🍽️ Serve With
- I love to pair this delicious stuffed whole chicken recipe with a fresh and healthy side dish like these Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables or for an easier option try this Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli.
- Tabouli is one of our favorite side salads to complement such flavorful meals.
- Indulging in a slice of this Lemon Poke Cake it is the perfect way to end this great meal.
- Or if you need to make it a Mediterranean meal start to finish, here is a quick and easy Simple Couscous Sweet Recipe that takes only 5 minutes to make!
Leftover cooked stuffed chicken can be refrigerated fin an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Freeze: You can freeze leftover in a freezer bag or container for up to 3 months. Defrost in fridge overnight.
Reheat: Reheat chicken in oven or stove top, brush with a little oil or butter first. Reheat freekeh as you do with rice, in the microwave or stovetop with a splash of water.
📣 Related Recipes
- Slow Cooker Creamy Lemon Chicken is an easy incredibly flavorful chicken recipe luscious texture and citrusy bright notes. With only 15 minutes of prep time, this recipe is great for busy weeknight dinners.
- Sometimes you just need a set it and forget it meal and this Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs Recipe is just that.
Middle Eastern Chicken Recipes
- These Middle Eastern Grilled Chicken Kabobs are a delicious and easy-to-make dish with flavorful marinated chicken skewered with colorful bell peppers and charred to perfection on the grill.
- There's nothing more comforting than a warm, richly flavored Middle Eastern Rice with Chicken. This recipe includes aromatic spices, vegetables and tender fall of the bone chicken.
- Try this mouthwatering Copycat Halal Chicken and Rice for your next easy weeknight chicken meal.
- Chicken shawarma rice is one of our favorite easy weeknight meals. Tender chicken with flavorful yellow rice topped with an amazing white sahwarma sauce all take just about 30 minutes!
Freekeh is a green durum wheat that has been roasted and cracked, it contains tons of nutritional benefits loaded with protein and fiber.
Well, for sure you'll find it in your Middle East market, but I've seen it as well at Whole Foods and occasionally in Sprouts. Some people have bought it recently from Trader Joe's, but seriously if this all did not work you can always purchase online.
This is a very common way to stuff birds like chicken, pigeons, quails, turkey... etc.. Also try various grains like barley, wild rice, white rice this will give you a different bird each time, but start simple with freekeh. Another way to cook it is in the slow cooker, prepare the freekeh, rub the bird, stuff then throw in the slow cooker and if you want a crispy skin, you might consider popping in the oven for 15 minutes when it is done.
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Stuffed Whole Chicken
For the Freekeh:
- ¼ cup oil olive oil is preferred
- 1 yellow onion chopped about 1 cup
- 1 cup Freekeh thoroughly picked, washed and rinsed
- 1 ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to your liking
- Salt to taste
- 1 ¼ cup water or chicken stock
For the chicken rub:
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- ½ Tablespoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder or garlic powder
- 4 Tablespoon butter unsalted and melted
- ½ teaspoon sage
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
Vegetables to roast under the chicken:
- 2 pounds potato cut into wedges or thick fingers.
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1 large bunch fresh thyme optional for flavor
- 1 (5.5 pound) whole chicken
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil then saute onions for 2 minutes.
- Add the Freakeh, salt and pepper then stir well to combine.
- Add the water/ stock, bring to a boil then reduce heat until the liquids is absorbed.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- In a medium bowl combine the rubbing ingredients well.
- If using a baking sheet, brush with some oil or butter.
- Toss vegetables with any remaining freekeh and rub or just salt and pepper and place in the pan.
- Place chicken on a flat surface and rub the chicken inside out.
- Stuff the chicken cavity with freakeh ¾ full. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.
- Pour ½ cup of water in the roasting sheet.
- Roast the chicken for ½ hour then reduce heat to 350F, cover with aluminum foil for another 1 ½ hour or until the juices run clear between a leg and thigh.
- Remove the foil in the last 15 minutes to crisp up the skin.
- Let the chicken rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
- Make sure to wash freekeh thoroughly and pick any stones.
- Check out the post above for more tips and variations.
- Please check the nutrition disclaimer policy.