Another delightful recipe from the new cookbook from Little & Friday
The stuffing used in this chicken is a good option for gluten-intolerant eaters. We like to serve the eggplant salad warm but it is just as delicious served at room temperature.
2½ cups jasmine rice
½ cup golden sultanas
1 red onion, sliced
5 cups chicken stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 size 18 free-range chicken, skin on, boneless (ask your butcher to de-bone)
100g pine nuts
zest of 2 lemons
½ cup roughly chopped Italian parsley
cooking string, for trussing
2 tbsp olive oil for rubbing chicken skin
4 eggplants, sliced into 2cm rounds
1 tbsp dried oregano
50ml good-quality olive oil
seeds of 1 pomegranate
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 punnets cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh basil leaves
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp good-quality olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Place rice, sultanas, onion, stock, butter, salt and freshly ground black pepper in an oven dish. Cover with tinfoil. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, until rice is cooked, then stir with a fork and allow to cool.
3. Lay chicken out on a board lengthways so that the breast is on the left and the thigh is on the right. Open tenderloins up so that chicken is flat. Overlap one thigh over the other thigh so there are no gaps in the chicken. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
4. Lightly toast pine nuts by dry-roasting them in a frying pan for a few minutes, stirring regularly to avoid burning. Allow to cool slightly.
5. Once stuffing is cool, mix in lemon zest, parsley and cooled pine nuts. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
6. Spread stuffing in a horizontal log across the chicken, leaving enough space on either side to roll up. Roll up away from yourself, making sure you keep the thighs of the chicken overlapped while rolling. When complete, the seam should be on the bottom.
7. Using cooking string, tie up each end of the chicken and then tie in the middle. Rub skin with olive oil and season with salt.
8. Put chicken in a roasting tray and cook for 40–45 minutes until golden and the juices run clear.
9. Allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes before slicing.
To make the salad
1. Toss together eggplant, oregano, oil, pomegranate seeds, salt and freshly ground black pepper in a bowl.
2. Transfer to an oven tray and roast at 180°C for 15–20 minutes until golden.
3. For the dressing, lightly whisk vinegar, pomegranate molasses and oil together. When eggplant is cooked, toss with cherry tomatoes, basil and dressing. Serve straight away with the sliced chicken.
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