Chicken will always be a hero on any Ramadan Iftar table especially when it is stuffed with perfectly cooked & spiced rice.
The marinade for this chicken is one of the best spice mixes I came up with; really flavorful & you don’t need to marinade the chicken in advance.
My only problem with stuffed chicken was the rice; it always came out undercooked or soggy but Thank God this recipe has step by step directions on how to get a juicy chicken with a perfctly cooked stuffing.
For the Rice:
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 small onion shredded بصل مبشور
- 1 cup rice
- 1 tsp allspice بهارات
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon قرفة
- pinch black pepper فلفل أسود
- pinch nutmeg جوزة الطيب
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup hot water
For the Chicken:
- 1 x 1200 gm chicken whole
- 2 tsp alspice بهارات
- 3/4 tsp garlic powder
- 3/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ginger جنزبيل
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbsp Worcesterchire sauce
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt & pepper
For the Tray:
- 1 large onion cut into wedges
- 2 large carrots roughly chopped
- 1/2 garlic head راس ثوم (optional)
- 1 cup water
- Preheat oven at 200 C.
- For the rice: Wash the rice & soak in water for 30 minutes then drain. Heat the oil in a small pot over medium high heat, add the onion & cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to soften but not change color. Stir in the spices. Add the rice & toss very well with the onion & spices for a couple of minutes. Add the water & salt. Once the water is absorbed, reduce heat to low, cover the pot & place it on a diffuser شياطة. Let the rice cook for only 10 minutes; it will still be a little bit raw. Turn off heat. Place the rice on a plate to cool down before stuffing the chicken.
- For the chicken: Mix all the marinade ingredients together until they form a paste. Rub the chicken with the marinade inside out & under the skin.
- For the tray: Arrange the onion, carrots & garlic in a baking tray صينية فرن & pour the water on them.
- To assemble: Once the rice has cooled, stuff the chicken with the rice. Stuff the cavity of the chicken but don’t pack the rice too tightly. Place some rice under the skin of the chicken as well. You won’t need the whole amount of rice. Tie the legs of the chicken together.
- Place the chicken on a rack شبكة then place the rack on top of the veggies in the baking tray. You need the chicken to be higher than the veggies; not touching the veggies. Place the chicken in the oven & roast for about 75 minutes until the skin is dark reddish golden & cooked through from inside. Every 25 minutes, open the oven to make sure that there is still water in the tray, if it dried out or was reduced too much, add another 1/2–1 cup water.
- Get the chicken out of the oven & let rest until you prepare the sauce. Pour the veggies with all the juices in the baking tray in a sieve مصفاة placed over a bowl. With the back of a spoon, press on all the veggies to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the veggies in the sieve, you just need the sauce/juice in the bowl.
- Serve the chicken with the sauce/juice.
- Add little water to the remaining rice (that didn’t fit in the chicken) & continue cooking it in a covered pot over low heat.
- If you don’t have a rack شبكة, simply place the chicken on the oven rack directly & place the tray on the shelf under it.
- Don’t use a very big baking tray صينية under the chicken so that the water & juices don’t dry out quickly.