Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken with Fruit

Summary

Yield
Servings
SourceBeverly Nash
Prep time
20 minutes
Cooking time
1 hour
Total time
1 hour, 20 minutes

Description

Try something different this holiday season with this delicious Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken.  We promise you won't regret this recipe. The cinnamon, rice and pomegranate will dance on your palette.    

Ingredients

3  
cinnamon sticks (Add to brine)
2  
bay leaves (Add to brine)
1  
orange zest (Grate and add to brine)
1⁄2 c
salt (Add to brine)
1⁄2 c
sugar (Add to brine)
1⁄2 c
honey (Add to brine)
2  
5-6lb chickens (For soaking in the brine)
3 T
coconut oil
1  
onion (Diced)
10 oz
ground beef or lamb
1 t
cinnamon
1 t
allspice
1 ds
salt and pepper (To taste)
1 c
long brown rice or basmati rice (Pre-soaked and drained)
3 c
chicken stock
1⁄2 c
pistachios (Chopped and toasted)
1⁄2 c
pine nuts (Toasted)
1⁄2 c
almonds (Slivered)
2 T
coconut oil
1 t
paprika
1 pn
salt and pepper
1  
kitchen twine (To tie legs together)
3⁄4 c
stock or water
1  
fresh pomegranate (To Garnish)

Instructions

Start brining process the night before. Mix all of the ingredients for the brine in a large enough bowl to accommodate the chicken and make room in the fridge to keep overnight. When you are ready to stuff the chicken, take it out of the brine and pat it dry.

To make the filling, heart coconut oil in a large frying pan and saute' the onion until soft. Add the lamb and stir until it browns. Sprinkle in the spices, salt and pepper. Stir in the rice. Pour in the chicken stock and allow it to come to a boil.
Reduce the heat to simmer. add some of the nuts and fruits, leaving some for garnish. Cover and leave to cook for 10 minutes or so. The rice will finish cooking in the oven. Uncover and put aside to cool completely. If you did not want to stuff the bird, you could do all this stove top.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Spoon as much of the stuffing that will fit loosely in the cavity of the chicken. Reserve the rest of the filling to finish cooking later. Rub the whole chicken with 2- tbsp. oil, cinnamon, paprika, salt and pepper. Tuck back the wings behind the neck and tie the legs together with the kitchen twine. Place in a roasting pan and bake in a preheated oven until done, for approximately 1 hour.

To finish cooking the remaining stuffing, add in a little more stock or water, cover and leave to simmer about 10 minutes more until the rice is done. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and alongside the roast chicken.

Notes

Makes 4-6 servings for one roasted chicken or just double the recipe for 8-12 servings. Enjoy! Happy Holidays!