Nutty Chicken Delight


  • 2 x 2 kg Free Range Whole Chickens
  • 1 1⁄2 cups cooked rice (white or brown) (warm or room temperature)
  • 6 x brown mushrooms – roughly chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup of dried apricots or apple – roughly chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup of fresh chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 x tablespoon Almond flakes
  • 2 x tablespoon Pinenuts
  • 2 x tablespoon chopped pistachios
  • 1 x Lemon – zest and juice
  • Sea salt flakes
  • Ground Black pepper


  • Heat the Fornetto oven, kamado or smoker to 180°C / 350°F and maintain temperature.
  • Pat skin of chicken with paper towel to dry. Ensure any fluids are drained from cavity. Do not trim fat or excess skin away. Toast the nuts in a dry non-stick baking dish until slightly golden – be careful not to burn. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together until evenly combined. Spoon half the mixture into each chicken making sure to “stuff ”it tightly, compacting the mixture. Using a toothpick or skewer to secure, overlap the excess skin around the cavity to seal and prevent the stuffing spilling out as the chickens cook. Rub the skin with lemon and extra salt. Place an oven proof tray at the bottom of the oven and pour in two cups of water.
  • Place both chickens side by side and breast side up on a wire rack in the middle of the oven – above the water tray. Open the smoker slide to allow the smoke to enter the oven chamber and flavour the chicken. (Open/close throughout the cooking period as desired.) Cook the chickens for 45 minutes and then turn them over. Be careful not to break the chicken. Add a little more water to the tray if necessary. Cook for a further 30 minutes – remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest. Use the liquids from the roasting tray to make a delicious smoky flavoured gravy. Serve with roasted vegetables or salad.

TIP: Put bunches of robust herbs (such as Rosemary or Thyme) beneath the chickens. This stops them sticking to the rack and the steam mixes with the herbs to create added flavours and aromas.


Instead of rice, why not try couscous or quinoa for a healthy and interesting twist?

This stuffing recipe works great with game birds such as duck – even rolled inside a pork loin. Dried cranberries and currants are a great substitute for dried apricots or apple. Modify the recipe by adding your own favourite herbs and flavours.