Barley-stuffed Chicken with Indian Spice Rub

Barley-stuffed Chicken with Indian Spice Rub

By Brian Higginson, RD, CD
Clinical Nutrition Specialist

Twice the spice! Flavorful roast chicken (serves 8) is easy when garam masala and curry pair up in this pungent (but not fiery) spice rub. Our barley stuffing adds a sweet and nutty touch that’s low on the glycemic index and has high levels of soluble fiber, known for reducing cholesterol. Serve with any green vegetable such as green beans or broccoli.


  • 4-5 pound whole chicken

Spice Rub for Chicken

  • 4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger root, minced
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil

Barley Stuffing

  • 4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Zest and juice (½ cup) of 1 orange
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 3 cups cooked pearl barley (¾ cup raw before cooking)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper


  1. Mix together marinade ingredients to form a paste. Place paste under skin being careful not to tear skin; inside the cavity; and on the outside of the hen. Refrigerate overnight or at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F and in the meantime make stuffing. Heat oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté onions for 6 minutes until translucent, add cumin seeds and heat for about 30 seconds to toast. Combine rest of the stuffing ingredients and mix well. Lightly stuff in cavity of marinated hen and put the additional stuffing in a covered ovenproof casserole.
  3. Place stuffed chicken, breast up on rack in shallow baking pan. Lightly brush with oil. Roast for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 350°F, and roast another 20 minutes per pound or until thigh meat and cavity stuffing registers 160°F and bird is golden brown. Baste every 20 minutes as well. Heat additional stuffing in oven last 30 minutes of cooking time.
  4. Transfer chicken to a platter, tent hen lightly with foil and let rest 10 minutes, temperature will rise to 165°F. Carve chicken and serve stuffing along side.

Per serving: 404 calories, 33g protein, 25g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 19g fat, 5g saturated fat, 8g mono fat, 121mg cholesterol, 131 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Use spice mixes such as garam masala to save time and money. This aromatic blend of coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, clove and black pepper adds flavor without salt.

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