Chipotle Roasted Chicken with Couscous Stuffing


Recently a friend asked me, where do I get my recipe inspiration from. We were talking about iftars 

(menu for breaking fast) and that question made me paused for a bit. The more I thought of it the more I realised something poignant, the food that I prepare for my family today is not only the reflection of my mom’s cooking and my childhood but it is also an entangled web of memories of travels, memories of friends even from primary school, the hordes of magazines, fiction reading and even my old canteen lady. How each and every person contributed so much to the palate, and how cooking for one has now become cooking for family, and with marriage comes the intercontinental aspect of satisfying the other half’s craving, no matter how much you detest the food!
Truthfully my inspiration comes from simple everyday things. Like an impromptu trip that we made to the nearby wholesale butchery in the mad quest of halal lamb racks, and the pleasant surprises that awaited me there. Amidst the dusty shelves of gigantic olive oil jars, sat the humble chipotle sauce. This one was never in my pantry before, I did not know how it would results in meals as all I knew of it is in Subway sandwiches.

The experiement began, and a night-of-brining later, this juicy succulent roast chicken made its way to our dining table.
If you are new to brining, read on and if you aren’t I am sure you would agree with how delicious this technique is in roasting chicken. Brining requires a bit of effort in the sense that the concoction of salted water infused with spices will be prepared the night prior to roasting; it is however the surest way of injecting flavours to the poultry, and don’t worry, the salt will be literally washed away.
My brining formula is simple. 1/4 cup of table salt or 1/2 cup of sea salt will be simmered with 2 cups of water, and infused further with 3 tbsp of sugar, dash of chill flakes, fresh thyme,  a tsp of dried oregano and lemon. 2 cups are generally enough for a small chicken, but feel free to add on quantity to ensure the chicken is fully immerse in the cooled brine, preferably overnight.  Then the next day, chicken is washed, and marinated further with preferred flavours of marinade for just 2 hours, or just sprinkle with salt and black pepper for roasting.
The marinade this time use chipotle sauce as the star ingredient, mixed with plain greek yogurt, salt, oregano and paprika for added heat. The bursting Mexican flavour complements really well with the easy couscous stuffing, which is sealed with half cut apple!
I know this is not a classic iftar dish, but to answer my friend’s question, this is my kind of inspiration that fills our house with exotic flavours, which either reminds me of home or foreign travels of the bygone.

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  1. says

    i have never tried brining the chicken or anything but loved your choices of ingredients. Also, I agree with how inspiration in the kitchen always comes from like the most random things :)

  2. says

    Never thought of couscous stuffing before! Very interesting. Will the juices from the chicken make the couscous stuffing soggy?

    ~Jayne (

  3. says

    the time i read the intro, i suddenly thought, is that me??? and it is!!! :) :) hehe… the chicken is calling me out… i’ve never done brining, thought I’ve read on how it makes the chicken really juicy… i’m going to do this when i’ve all the time to experiment for sure…

  4. says

    The chicken looks lovely & I loved your brining technique. The process seems a little long but I am sure the flavour & taste must be just mindblowing. I love chicken & this is something new for me to experiment sometime. BTW which market do you buy Lamb from? I have not been successful in getting good Lamb in Singapore.

  5. says

    I am inspired now to try this brining way to make chicken roast.. Feel that wud be a hit at my home.. Awesome clicks, makes me crave for some of that chicken right away !

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