Friday, August 6, 2010

Pilaf-Stuffed Chicken

This is one of my favorite chicken dishes.  The recipe originally came from "The Complete Guide to Claypot Cooking".  I don't have a claypot, so I changed the cooking times and roasted it in my Le Creuset pot.  It worked really well -- it was just as delicious!  This recipe is both sweet and savory - guaranteed to please anyone's palate. 

Pilaf-Stuffed Chicken

4 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
4 teaspoons chopped oregano
1/2 cup pine nuts
6 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups rice
salt and pepper
3-5 lb chicken
8 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
6 tablespoons sweet sherry

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a saucepan.  Add the garlic, onions, raisins, oregano, pine nuts, cinnamon stick and cloves.  Cook, stirring gently, for 5 minutes.  Stir in the rice and pour in the stock (I used homemade).  Bring to a boil, cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, thoroughly rinse and dry the chicken with paper towels.  Spoon the rice mixture intot he body cavity with any moisture from the pan.  Pour the rest of the rice mixture around the chicken.  Tie the ends of the chicken legs together neatly.

Place the chicken in roasting pan with a lid.  Tuck the bay leaves and thyme sprigs in and around the chicken, then season it well all over.  Cover the pot and place in the oven.  Cook for 2 hours.  Remove the chicken and brush the sweet sherry all over the chicken and cook for a further 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and golden.

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