Roast chicken with pine nut and barberry pilav stuffing
This Turkish recipe comes courtesy of Greg Malouf, master of modern Middle Eastern cuisine.
- 1 x 1.5 kg free-range chicken
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 250 ml chicken stock
- Watercress to garnish
- 280 g short-grain rice
- 600 ml chicken stock
- 55 g unsalted butter
- 1 large purple onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 60 g pine nuts
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup barberries
- Sea salt
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 1/2 cup unsalted shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded flat-leaf parsley leaves
- To make the stuffing, put the rice into a large bowl and rinse well under cold running water, working your fingers through it to loosen the starch. Drain off the milky water and repeat until the water runs clear. Cover the rice with cold water and leave to soak for 10 minutes. Drain the rice and rinse a final time, then drain again.
- Bring the stock to the boil, then lower the heat and keep at a simmer.
- Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over a low–medium heat, stirring continuously, until the onion starts to soften. Add the pine nuts and spices, then increase the heat and sauté until the nuts start to colour. Add the barberries to the pan, followed by the simmering stock. Season with salt, then return to the boil, stir briefly, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook over a very low heat for 15 minutes.
- Tip the cooked rice onto a shallow tray and sprinkle on the lemon juice, pistachios and parsley. Use a fork to fluff up the grains and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC. Clean the chicken, removing any excess fat from around the cavity. Stand the chicken upright and season lightly inside with salt and pepper. Spoon around half the stuffing into the cavity, being careful not to overfill it, and secure the skin at the opening with a small skewer. Set the remaining rice aside. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and rub with oil, then transfer it to a heavy-based baking tray. Pour in half the stock and roast for 20 minutes. Lower the oven to 180ºC and roast for a further 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes to rest.
- While the chicken is resting, reheat the remaining stock and pilav in a saucepan over a gentle heat. Spoon out the stuffing from the chicken and add it to the pan. Mound the rice onto the centre of a warm serving platter. Cut the chicken into quarters, stack it around the rice and serve garnished with watercress.