Whole Chicken with Dried Fruit Stuffing (Meat)

Serves 6-8

1 large whole chicken
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup pitted prunes, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
1 cup dried apricots, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
¼ cup raisins
1 large apple, any kind, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Salt to taste
¼ teaspoon saffron threads, dissolved into 2 tablespoons boiling water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon turmeric

Preheat oven to 450ºF.  In large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook until they begin to brown, about 8 minutes.  Add the prunes, apricots, raisins, apple, black pepper, cinnamon, salt, and saffron and water.  Stir and cook for 3 minutes.  Place into a bowl and let cool 10 minutes.

Rinse off chicken and pat dry.  Stuff as much of the dried fruit mixture into the cavity of the chicken.  At this point, you can sew the cavity shut or tie up the chicken.  It also comes out fine if you do not seal the cavity.  Place any leftover stuffing into a small baking dish, cover with foil and set aside.

Place the chicken into a roasting pan.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the chicken, add 1/2 teaspoon of the turmeric and salt and pepper to taste.  Rub all over the chicken.  Turn the chicken over.  Add the other tablespoon of oil, the other ½ teaspoon of the turmeric and more salt and pepper and rub all over.  Leave the chicken breast side down for the first part of the roasting.
Place in the oven for 20 minutes.  Carefully turn the chicken over and roast another 20 minutes.  Turn the heat down to 350ºF.  Place the pan of extra stuffing into the oven and then cook the chicken and stuffing for 50 minutes.  Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes and then cut up.  Scoop the stuffing out of the chicken and combine with the stuffing cooked separately.  Serve the chicken pieces over the stuffing and drizzle with the pan juices