Lebanese Roast Stuffed Chicken

• 4 tablespoons butter, divided

• 3/4 pound lamb, finely chopped or coarsely ground

• salt, to taste

• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or use half allspice)

• 1 cup raw long grain rice, rinsed

• 2 cups chicken broth

• 1/2 cup pine nuts

• 1 roasting chicken (4-5 pounds)

Start ahead so that the stuffing has time to cool.

Place about 1 teaspoon of the butter in a small sauté pan and set aside for a moment. Place the remainder in a large heavy frying pan over medium heat, adding the lamb when the butter has melted. Cook, stirring frequently, until lamb begins to brown and juices are mostly evaporated, about ten minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Stir in the rice and cook slowly, uncovered, about ten minutes.

Meanwhile melt the butter in the small sauté pan over medium heat and add the pine nuts. Cook, stirring attentively, until lightly browned. Add to the lamb mixture, along with the chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, cover, and turn down heat so that the mixture simmers for 20 minutes. When rice is tender, let the stuffing cool.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse the chicken inside and out, and pat it dry. Salt and pepper inside and out. Fill cavities loosely with the stuffing, and sew closed. Place on the rack of a roasting pan with 1 cup of water in the pan underneath. Cover with aluminum foil.

Roast for 2 hours. Remove foil and return to oven to brown, about 30 minutes.

Serves 6.

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