A delicious roasted chicken with a gluten free stuffing made with quinoa, carrots, celery, onions and fennel seed. Hearty, delicious and packed with so much flavour!
Once the weather gets cold and I start using the oven more frequently, one of my ‘go to’ dinners is roasting a whole chicken. This is an easy way to feed the family and a roasted chicken is just classic down home rustic goodness. This roast chicken with quinoa stuffing is a recipe I have made for years and it so delicious. I love trying different types of stuffings by adding dried fruits, nuts and various grains.
Quinoa works so well in this stuffing and is a great alternative to bread. If you are looking for a gluten free way to make stuffing then this is an excellent option to try. Along with the quinoa, I also added a bunch of sautéed carrots, celery and onion. It so hearty, and the fennel seed adds such a nice earthy and floral flavour to the stuffing.
If you are wanting to make this with a more traditional bread stuffing, then check out the recipe for my Mom’s Turkey Stuffing.
How to Make Quinoa Stuffing
- Sauté the vegetables in a skillet with some butter over medium high heat. Cook, stirring often until the carrots are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the dry quinoa and water. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to medium low.
- Cover the skillet and let cook until the quinoa has absorbed all the water. I lift the lid and stir the stuffing every once in a while.
- Once the quinoa has absorbed the water, remove the skillet from the heat. Let the stuffing cool to room temperature.
Once the stuffing is made, it is time to stuff the bird. If desired, you can have the chicken brined in advanced. Brining a chicken will enhance the flavour and will result in juicier meat. For more information, check out my post here: How to Brine Chicken.
How to stuff the chicken
Lift up the back end of the chicken and spoon the stuffing into the cavity. Use the back of the spoon to press the stuffing deep into the cavity. This recipe has enough stuffing to fill a 4 pound chicken.
Once the chicken has been stuffed, I like to tie the legs together with some kitchen twine. This helps to prevent any of the stuffing to fall out. The tied up legs also gives a more attractive finished look for the roasted chicken.
What temperature and how long to roast a chicken
Once the chicken has been stuffed, it is ready to go in the oven. I like to place my chicken in a roasting dish on top of a bed of vegetables. I use cut up carrots, celery, onion and whole garlic cloves. These vegetables lift the bird off the bottom of the roasting dish. Plus, people love the taste of these roasted veggies. Using a bed of vegetables is not necessary though, and if desired, you can place the chicken right in roasting dish.
Put the chicken in a 350F oven for about 2 hours and 15 minutes. The chicken is done once the internal temperature reaches 165F, when checked with a digital thermometer. I check the chicken in the fattest part of the breast, deep in the thigh and also in the middle of the stuffing. For more information on roasting a chicken, check out my post: How to Roast a Whole Chicken.
Let the chicken rest
An important step, that is often skipped, is to let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes, after it comes out of the oven. This allows the juices to draw back into the bird and it will result in meat that is more moist and flavourful.
The most disappointing part of this meal is that there is never enough quinoa stuffing for everyone. Any time that I make this roast chicken, the bowl of stuffing is devoured. It is light, very flavourful and is perfect alongside the chicken.
This recipe is a meal in itself, but if you are looking for some other dishes that go very well alongside this roast chicken with quinoa stuffing, then check out these ideas!
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Baked Ratatouille
- Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Dairy Free Scalloped Potatoes
Roast Chicken with Quinoa Stuffing
- 4 pound whole chicken
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 carrot , peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks , diced
- 1 onion , diced
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- In a skillet, at medium high heat, melt the butter and then add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and spices. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the carrots become tender.
- Add the water and quinoa. Bring to a boil, stir and lower heat to a medium/low. Cover the skillet and cook until the quinoa absorbs all the water.
- Stir the stuffing, remove from the heat and let it cool.
- Stuff the chicken with cavity with the quinoa stuffing. Rub the skin of the bird with the butter and season with a little extra salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken in a roasting pan and cook in a 350F oven, uncovered, for 2 1/4 hours or until it reads 165F.
- After the allotted cooking time, remove the bird from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.