Roast chicken with turkey rice stuffing and warm cauliflowers, cherries and mushrooms salad in Moroccan vinaigrette

Google: “Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Liberia, and the sub-national entities Leiden, Norfolk Island, and Puerto Rico. It began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.”

We celebrate 2021 Thanksgiving on budget with a great savouring homemade meal. Let us go with roast chicken stuffing with turkey rice stuffing. There is also a perfect spring salad and dessert, of course my pumpkin cheesecake fruits bread.

I swap the normal roast chicken marinade with olive oil salt and pepper with Asian marinade for a change to brighten up my menu of Thanksgiving with warm salad in Moroccan vinaigrette and enjoy Thanksgiving with comfort flavour dessert of pumpkin cheesecake fruits bread. Let us be creative too on budget meal. Enjoy and grateful for the abundance in our lives.


Roast chicken

1 whole chicken size 16, about 3 lb; big enough for stuffing


3 Tbs soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbs honey
1 1/4 Tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 Tsp Shao Xing wine
1/2 Tsp brandy (opt)
1/2 Tsp salt
6 dashes black pepper

Skin Coating

1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 Tsp melted butter
1 Tsp honey (opt)


4 cups uncooked washed rice; long grain
5 Tbs olive oil
20-25 g butter
4-6  finely chopped garlic
1 L duck stock see Note below
2  chicken cubes or 2 Tsp powder stock 
1 1/2 thumb of ginger cleaned sliced into matchsticks or finely chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 Tsp salt to taste
use duck neck and bishop nose for extra fat and flavour (opt)

Turkey stuffing with cooked rice

80 g dried apricots, cuts into 4 pieces
14-16 medium size button mushrooms, cut into 4 pieces
180 g cooked turkey meat, cut into bite size
180 g cooked ham meat, cut into bite size
1/2 c finely chopped parsley
1/4 c finely chopped spring onions
120 g pine nuts, toast in frying pan until lightly brown
3 Tbs melted butter
1 Tbs olive oil
1 1/2 salt to taste
4 dashes white pepper

Warm salad and Moroccan vinaigrette

1 medium whole cauliflower, florets
1 punnet cherries tomatoes, cut into half
12 medium size button mushrooms, cut into bite size
1 cucumber, cut into bite size
1 yellow capsicum cut into bite size
1 medium Spanish onion, thinly slice
1 big packet of Spinach, wash and dry
1 small packet snow peas, cut both end and pull out the stems
water for boiling snow peas, add a pinch of salt
8-12 dashes of Moroccan powder
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs honey
2 Tbs Apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs orange juice (bought)
2 Tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 Tsp paprika
1 Tsp cayenne
1 Tsp salt, extra for baking vegetables
1/2 Tsp black pepper, extra baking vegetables 
1/4 c olive oil, extra for drizzles vegetables to baked


One day in advance: Clean the chicken with water and pat dry inside and out. Mix marinade ingredients well in a bowl and rub it generously on the skin of the chicken and also the cavity. Then transfer it into a deep tray. Pour the remaining marinade into tray to marinate the chicken overnight.

The following day: Pre heat oven 180 degrees C. Put cauliflower, cherries, mushrooms and onions in a line with foil large baking deep tray. Drizzles oil and season with salt and black pepper. Bake for 15-25 minutes until soft cooked through. Bring water with salt to boiling add snow peas and cook. Strain and set aside with spinach, cucumber and capsicum. Now mix Moroccan vinaigrette in a bottle and shake well.

Once vegetables is baked, add snow peas, spinach cucumber and capsicum. Toss around to mix well. Then pour Moroccan Vinaigrette dressing and toss again. Set aside with foil cover.

To cook rice: Heat oil in wok for 1 minutes, then add butter until melted; fry ginger and garlic till fragrant and golden. Then add rice and stir well to coat in oil and butter. Transfer rice mixture to rice cooker. Next add duck stock, chicken cubes, duck neck and bishop nose cleaned, 1 Tbs oil and salt into rice mixture. Cook according to rice cooker’s manual instruction. (Note: make sure enough water). Once cooked open the cover of rice cooker to cool the cooked rice and set aside.

To roast chicken: Take the chicken out of fridge. Air dry chicken on bench top about 20 minutes at room temperature or until the skin surface is no longer wet. (I did it on a hot day – summer time). You can turn on a fan if in cool day – Winter. Meanwhile mix skin coating ingredients well in a bowl. Set aside.

Prepare turkey stuffing with cooked rice: Toast pine nuts in frying pan until light brown. Set aside. Next cut apricots, mushrooms, turkey meat, and ham meat. Then finely chopped parsley and spring onions. Now spoon the rice into a big deep tray; mix well all the cuts and chopped turkey stuffing. Season well with melted butter, oil, salt and pepper. Set aside until needed.

Heat up the oven to 200 degrees C. Put on gloves and place the chicken in a stand on roasting pan; use hand stuff as much of turkey stuffing’s with cooked rice in to the cavity use safety pins clip the end so the stuffing will not fall out. Roast for about 40 minutes.

Remove from oven and turn the other side and roast for 20-30 minutes. Now place the remaining turkey stuffing with cooked rice in the oven to collect some drippings into the turkey stuffing. Remove chicken from oven after 1 hour, and brush chicken with skin coating mixture. Continue to roast chicken for about 10 minutes on each side, or until both sides of is golden brown. In the last 15 minutes put the warm salad into the oven to warm up again.

Remove turkey stuffing with rice from oven once it’s hot. Then remove chicken when its cooked through, let cool. Remove warm salad when its warm up. Remove the turkey stuffing inside chicken then chop up chicken and serve immediately with turkey rice stuffing and warm salad in Moroccan vinaigrette.

Note: Place roast duck carcass in the boiling water for a 2-3 times: boiling and discard water. This is to clean the gunk. Then rinse with cold water and place carcass in fresh boiling water for 35-45 minutes with 1 small thumb of ginger, cleaned, 1 carrot and 1 stalk celery roughly chopped; 1 medium size onion with 4 cloves inserted in onion; salt and black peppercorn; chicken cubes, neck and bishop nose, also duck neck and bishop nose washed and clean. Lower the heat to gentle simmer cover and uncover don’t want over boiled and spilled. Taste to see enough seasoning. Now discard all the ingredients except duck neck and bishop nose, strain and save 1 L stock for cooking chicken rice, and extra if needed more.

You may need more or less time to cook chicken as temperature vary. You may use chicken stock instead of duck stock. You may use turkey instead of chicken. I use chicken as its easier to handle and make use of my leftover turkey and ham from Christmas dinner to create a new meal.

You may make cool salad or Greek salad. I choose to do warm as I have left over cucumber, capsicum, cherries, and mushrooms. I just add cauliflower, onion, snow peas and spinach.