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Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Figs and Olives

The fig and the olive are a relatively new match for two of the oldest Mediterranean foods. Mastiha (mastic) infuses the stuffing as it bakes and adds one more undertone to this rich, flavorful, but simple chicken dish.
SERVES 5

Ingredients

For the fig-olive stuffing

  • 4 slices stale raisin-walnut bread cut into cubes
  • ½ cup 75 g coarsely chopped green olives
  • 1 large onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 shallot coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup 25 g finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 8 chestnuts boiled, peeled and crumbled
  • 6 dried figs chopped
  • cup 80 ml mastiha liqueur or ouzo
  • ½ to ¾ cup 120 to 180 ml chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons butter melted
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • We added the juice from 1 orange

For the chicken

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for the pan
  • 1 large whole chicken about 4 pounds (2 kg)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup 120 ml strained fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup 120 ml mastiha liqueur or ouzo

Instructions

  1. Make the stuffing: Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing together and set aside.
  2. Make the chicken: Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Lightly oil a baking pan large enough to hold the chicken.
  3. Trim excess fat from the chicken and wash the chicken inside and out. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the fig-olive stuffing. Place in the prepared pan and season generously with salt and pepper.
  4. Whisk together the orange juice, mastiha liqueur, and olive oil in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Brush the mixture over the chicken. Bake for about 1¼ hours, brushing with the orange juice mixture every 15 minutes or so and basting the bird with the pan juices, until the chicken is very tender and browned, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165ºF (75ºC). Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and serve.