Cumin-spiced roast chicken with pork & pistachio stuffing
‘This recipe is simple once you have assembled all the ingredients – it’s just a matter of rubbing the spice into the chicken, loosening the skin, then pushing the stuffing underneath it and brushing with glaze at the end. The lush green Moorish pistachio stuffing is very festive, and great for a celebratory lunch – I like to serve it with Lebanese pilaf rice or cumin-roasted potatoes. You can get grape molasses in good Middle Eastern grocers, or you can use pomegranate molasses instead.’ Stosie Madi parkersarms.co.uk
SERVES 4 PREP 30 mins plus chilling COOK 1 hr 40 mins plus resting MORE EFFORT
1 whole chicken (around 2kg)
3-4 tbsp grape molasses 1 litre chicken stock 20g butter for the spice rub pinch ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon 5 cardamom pods, seeds removed and lightly crushed
1 tsp ground black pepper ½ tsp grated nutmeg 3 cloves, crushed
½ tsp ground coriander 2 tbsp olive oil for the cavity aromatics 3 cardamom pods 2 garlic cloves
1 cinnamon stick
100g green grapes
1 tsp grape molasses for the stuffing
250g pork mince
125g salted roasted pistachios, finely crushed (you can toast pistachios in a pan with a sprinkle of salt to make these) 50g pistachio paste or ground pistachios
3 garlic cloves, crushed 2.5cm piece ginger, grated 2 tsp grape molasses
1 tsp ground cumin 150g unsalted butter, softened 1 Make the stuffing by blending the ingredients with 1 tsp salt in a food processor, taking care not to purée it – a little bit of crunch here and there makes it all the more satisfying. Check the seasoning by frying a tsp of the stuffing and tasting – adjust if you need to.
2 Put a piece of cling film on a chopping board and dollop on the stuffing, patting it out to rough circle just smaller than the surface of the breast meat to be covered. Make the layer thicker at one end, for the bottom end of the breasts where the meat is thinner – the extra thickness will help to keep it juicy and cook evenly. Cover with cling film and chill for 30 mins to set.
3 Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Pat the chicken dry all over using kitchen paper. From the neck end, push your fingers under the layer of skin on the breasts and wriggle them gently to release the skin and open up the pocket for the stuffing. Push right down – you will need to cover the entire breast meat area with the stuffing – but be careful not to tear the skin.
4 Make the spice rub by combining all the ingredients. Rub it generously over the chicken and inside the cavity, then insert the aromatics into the cavity. Unwrap the stuffing, halve it, then push half under the skin of each of the breasts, thin end first. Cover the chicken loosely with foil so the spices don’t burn.
5 Roast the chicken for 1 hr 10 mins. Mix 3 tbsp grape molasses with 1 tbsp hot water, brush over the skin, then increase oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and return the chicken for 20 mins to crisp up the skin. Baste twice more with molasses at 5-min intervals. Test the chicken in the thigh and breast to make sure it is cooked – the juices should run clear. Take the cavity aromatics out of the chicken and set aside ( don’t worry if you can’t get them all). Leave the chicken to rest for 45 mins somewhere warm, but don’t cover the skin so it stays crisp.
6 Meanwhile, pour the fat out of the roasting tin (there will be lots, which you can sieve and keep in the fridge for up to a week to use for cooking), leaving the juices behind. Add a little chicken stock and the cavity aromatics to the tin and bring to a boil, then sieve into a pan. Add the rest of the stock, simmer until reduced by half, then stir in 1 tsp grape molasses. Just before serving, add the resting juices from the chicken to the pan and bring the sauce back to the boil. Taste for seasoning and stir in the butter.
PER SERVING 981 kcals • fat 68g • saturates 24g • carbs 22g • sugars 18g • fibre 6g • protein 68g • salt 2.7g