Stuffed chicken is one of those dishes reserved for special occasions such as Christmas, Easter, and large dinner gatherings. As a child I remember looking forward to this special treat, I especially looked forward to devouring the crispy skin and melting drumsticks! Stuffed chicken was one of my favorite dishes that I wished we had more frequently.
As stuffed chicken was not a meal that was cooked often, I thought of it as a tricky and difficult dish that only experienced cooks could prepare. It wasn’t until years after I got married and started cooking that I even considered preparing it. When I finally did that, I discovered that stuffed chicken is not a difficult dish. While it requires some preparation, the steps are easy to follow and definitely worth it when you see the pleasure on the faces of your family enjoying the meal to the max.
I usually prepare stuffed chicken when I have a large dinner or lunch because everyone enjoys it and when I serve it I don’t have to toil to prepare many other dishes. I have even broken the rule of reserving stuffed chicken for special occasions and have cooked it a couple of times on a regular day.
Arabian-Style Stuffed Chicken
Preparation time: 30 min Cook time: 150 min
3 chickens, medium size (each chicken about 1.2 - 1.3 kg)
1 portion Arabic-style rice stuffing recipe from dish-away
3/4 cup raw pine nuts
4 teaspoons mixed spices
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
2½ teaspoons salt
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons yoghurt mixed with 3/4 teaspoon allspice
1 lemon or lime
How to prepare Arabian-Style Stuffed Chicken:
- Wash the chickens well and remove the guts from the inside. Rub the chicken with coarse salt and rinse them well. After that cut the lemon into four pieces and rub the inside and outside of the chicken with the lemon. Set the chicken aside for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. Rubbing the chicken with lemon removes any traces of unpleasant chicken smell.
- In a small bowl mix the mixed spices, cinnamon, black pepper, dried thyme and salt.
- Rub the inside of the chicken with some of the spices mixture.
- After you rub the inside of the chicken, add the olive oil to the remaining spices and mix well. Then rub with this mixture the outside of the chicken.
- Above the chicken thighs, with your fingers, carefully separate the skin from the flesh (like the picture below) and rub with the spices. Separate as much of the skin from the flesh as you can without tearing the skin as you will later stuff this part.
- Separate about half of the Arabic-style rice stuffing to serve with the chicken.
- Mix the other half of the rice stuffing with the pine nuts and stuff the inside of the chicken. Also stuff above the thigh where you separated the skin from the flesh. When you finish, using a regular needle and thread, stich the skin to close the opening. Yes, you can use those cooking pins to close the skin; personally I prefer the old fashioned needle and thread.
- Now flip the chicken over and stuff from the neck side. Add as much stuffing as the extra neck skin permits. When done, stitch the skin.
- Repeat with the other chicken. Usually I prepare the chicken up to this step hours before I start cooking the chicken and I cover them well and put them in the fridge.
- Rub the outside chicken skin with the yogurt mixed with allspice.
- Open the oven bag and add one teaspoon flour, then with your hand close the bag opening and shake the bag to spread the flour inside.
- Insert the stuffed chicken in the bag. If you are using average-sized bags, you can put one chicken per bag. The larger-size bags can take up to two chickens.
- Seal the bag and with a toothpick make 2-3 small holes in the roasting bag. Make sure the holes are on the upper side of the bag, otherwise the chicken drippings will leak from the bag and you will have a drier chicken!
- Place in the oven at 350° and bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. You will know the chicken is done when you see the browned skin.
To serve Arabian Style Stuffed Chicken: I spread the rice stuffing I set aside on the serving plate. I then tear the roasting bag and carefully slide the chicken from the bag onto the rice.
Garnish Arabian-Style Stuffed Chicken by sprinkling on top fried or roasted pine nuts and diced almonds.
Hope you enjoyed today’s easy recipe: Arabian-Style Stuffed Chicken, a traditional Middle Eastern dish. Bon appetite.
Have you ever cooked stuffed chicken or turkey? Did you find the process to be much easier than you thought?
اضغط الرابط لقراءة وصفة الدجاج المحشي باللغة العربية