Amp up the flavours of your festive roast chicken by using the vibrancy of Middle Eastern ingredients such as lemons, coriander, olives and figs.

Serves: 4-6 

Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: about 1 hour

1 large whole chicken

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 lemons, quartered, seeds removed

Stuffing

2 leeks (white part only), thinly sliced

350g ricotta cheese

2 garlic cloves, crushed

3 spring onions, finely chopped

Handful of basil, chopped

Handful of parsley, chopped

1 tsp ground coriander

Grated zest of 4 limes or 2 lemons

3 tsp lime or lemon juice

8 green olives, pitted and chopped

Glaze

100ml fig jam

1½ tbs lemon juice

1) Preheat the oven to 180°C. For the stuffing, mix the ingredients together. Gently lift up the skin on the breast side of the chicken and spread some of the stuffing under the skin.

2) Mix the egg into the remaining filling and stuff into the cavity. Put one lemon quarter into the chicken cavity and place the chicken in a roasting dish. Tie the legs together with string. Place the remaining lemon quarters in the roasting dish.

3) To make a glaze, mix the jam and lemon juice together and brush over the chicken. Roast for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the glaze again.

4) Roast for a further 25-35 minutes until cooked through. Serve the carved chicken with some of the stuffing.

Christmas menu

Starters

Prawn & asparagus salad with coconut dressing
Chicken liver paté with sweet & sour grapes

Mains

Rolled turkey breast with apricots and cashews
Ricotta & herb roast chicken with fig glaze
Festive side dishes

Desserts

Apple & marzipan strudel
Chocolate-cherry ice cream bombe