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| by Razan Masri

Middle Eastern Stuffed Chicken

One of my favorite dishes of all time. I just love my mother's own recipe of Middle Eastern stuffed chicken. To just give you some peek before we get into the details of the ingredients, this recipe is made of a whole chicken stuffed with rice, liver, roasted pine nuts, almonds and spices.

It is mouth watering, and the smell of the chicken being barbecued is just my favorite part. I thought it was hard to prepare this delicious dish, but to my surprise, it is very easy and fun. I also like to have this dish prepared when we have people coming over, or when all my family are gathered around the table. It is the type of dish to enjoy along with loved ones.

The trick here, is to make sure your chicken is juicy, filled with the right spices and the right amount. We usually have a side dish next to the chicken, it can be made of tomatoes, gravy, salad, yogurt, or as the one shared below, potatoes.

You can never have the same stuffed chicken recipe. Where ever you go, online or offline, a stuffed chicken is the chef's signature in the kitchen. One little addition or subtraction will make a difference. So here is one of the most delicious stuffed chicken recipes you will ever encounter.

SUZIE|S KITCHEN

Makes enough for 4 people – Preparation time 2 hours

Ingredients:
1 whole chicken
2 cups of rice (your preference)
Salt
Black pepper
Mixed pepper
Ground cardamon
Ground cinnamon
Ground cove
2 tablespoons of roasted pine nuts
2 tablespoons of roasted almonds
250 grams of chicken liver
Boiled water
Sunflower oil
2 large potatoes
1 medium onion (remove the skin)
5 bay leaf
Few rosemary leaves
Onion soup bag (powder)
Olive oil
1 teaspoon of finally chopped parsley

Steps:
1. Clean your chicken very well inside out, and then leave the chicken over a strainer.
2. Wash the rice very well.
3. In a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon mixed pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground cove and mix them with your hand, rubbing them well. (Leave 1/4 teaspoon of the mixture on the side for the liver.)
4. With your hands, start rubbing the chicken with the mixed spices inside out. Make sure you rub the spices between the skin and the chicken.
5. Wash the liver very well and cut into medium to small pieces.
6. In a medium sauce pan, add the liver along with boiled water and leave to boil over medium heat. As soon as they are boiling, turn the heat off and wash the liver once again.
7. Add the liver into the empty sauce pan, along with 2 tablespoon of sunflower oil, and the 1/4 teaspoon of mixed spices. Mix them very well and leave until the liver turns golden.
8. Now get a medium sauce pan, add 1/4 cup of sunflower oil along with the rice. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper, ground cardamon, ground cinnamon, and mixed pepper. Mix them very well together. Add 2 cups and 1/4 a cup of hot water on top, and leave to cook.
9. Once the rice is ready, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
10. Take 1 cup of the rice and mix it with only half the ingredients of roasted pine nuts, almonds and liver.
11. Start stuffing the chicken with the mixture, making sure you also fill the pocket between the skin and the chicken legs. Using toothpicks, start closing the skin on top of one another to store the stuffing inside the chicken.
12. In a large cooking dish, place the stuffed chicken in the middle, cut the potatoes with the skin into medium cubes and place around the chicken along with the whole onion, bay leaf, rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 of the onion soup powder, 2 tablespoons of olive oil on top of everything, and then fill the dish with 3 cups of boiling water. Cover your dish and place it in the oven for one hour.
13. Check the chicken and make sure it is well cooked before removing.
14. In a separate cooking tray, cover the tray with olive oil, and add the  stuffed chicken on top of the tray and place it back into the oven for the chicken to get barbecued. Leave it for about 10-15 minutes until the chicken is golden.
15. Remove all the flavoring from the cooking dish that contains the potatoes, leaving only the potatoes and the stock.
16. If you felt the stock is a little too watery, then do the following: in a pan, add 1 teaspoon of butter, 1 teaspoon of flour and mix well, add some of the liquid into the pan and with a whisker, whisk very well until it starts boiling. Turn off the heat and pour it back into the potato and chicken stock.
17. In your serving plate, add the rice, the remaining liver, roasted pine nuts and almonds, and the stuffed chicken in the center. Garnish your chicken with parsley. Optional: You can also add roasted pistachio or raisins.

For more food, fashion and art related topics, check out Razan Masri's blog RazanMasri.com.





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