Baking a whole chicken in paper makes for a
beautifully juicy bird. Serve it with plain couscous to soak up all
60 gmbutter, softened1chicken (1.6kg), removed from the fridge 20 minutes before cooking300 gmcouscous2 tspolive oilLemon halves and sheep’s milk yoghurt, to serveSpice paste2garlic cloves, crushed½ cupfinely chopped corianderFinely chopped rind of ½ preserved lemon1 tspharissa3 tspras el hanout (see note)Pinch of ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 190C. For spice paste, coarsely crush garlic and a pinch of salt with a mortar and pestle. Add coriander and pound to combine, then add remaining ingredients, pound to combine and season to taste.
Rub butter all over chicken, then rub with spice paste to coat completely. Place 3 large sheets (about 45cm each) of baking paper on a work surface so they overlap, place chicken on top and wrap to enclose, securing with string. Roast until juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a skewer (1 hour 40 minutes). Rest in paper for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine couscous, olive oil and 1 tbsp cold water in a heatproof bowl and rub with your fingertips to coat the grains well. Add 400ml boiling water, stir with a fork, cover with plastic wrap and leave until liquid is absorbed (8-10 minutes). Fluff up grains with a fork, season to taste, cover again and stand until dry (8-10 minutes).
Squeeze lemon juice over chicken, spoon cooking juices on top and serve with couscous and yoghurt.