Serves 6 1 roasting chicken (approx 2 kg), skinned 100g butter 1 tsp salt FOR THE STUFFING:
tsp good-quality saffron strands 4 tbsp green raisins (or any other dried fruit) In a bowl, infuse the saffron strands in 10 tbsp tepid water. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the orange and lemon, then slice each piece into long, thin strips. Place the zest strips in a bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside. Place the raisins and apricots in a bowl and squeeze the orange and lemon juice over them.
In a frying pan, heat the oil over a moderate heat. Add the dried red chillis, garlic and onion. Fry until it starts to colour.
Drain the raisins and apricots from the juice. Add to the pan along with the citrus zest strips and 5 tbsp of the saffron water. Place over a low–moderate heat and reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season the stuffing to taste. Remove from heat, and cool. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Fill the cavity of the chicken with as much stuffing as possible, then tie it into shape. Place the chicken in a roasting tray and press any leftover stuffing around it. Brush with some of the remaining saffron water. Melt the butter and brush it over the chicken, then season with salt.
As the chicken is skinless, wrap it in greased foil to prevent it from drying out. Cook in the oven for 1½ –2 hours. Remove the foil for the last 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Pour over the remaining saffron water and leave it to rest for 10 minutes. ■■Asma’s Indian Kitchen: Home-cooked food brought to you by Darjeeling Express by Asma Khan (Pavilion Books) Four Pieces (vinyl)
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