Monday, June 18, 2012

Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Wild Rice

This chicken recipe has been a favorite of mine for years. My mom got the recipe from a family friend after she made this at one of her dinner parties and has turned it into one of my favorites. The original recipe was one without measurements where you sprinkle a bit of this and that, add a dollop of something here and there, and just improvise. Luckily, my mom wrote down what she uses and has come up with a delicious dinner idea.

The combination of sweet and savory ingredients makes this one of my favorite roasted chicken recipes. If you're not too sure about adding prunes to your roast, just try it once. That's all I ask. They are one of the reasons this dish is so good too. When you get a bite of chicken and prunes all at once it sis pretty close to dinner heaven. Last time I was visiting my parents my mom made this and I was absolutely thrilled. It does take a while to roast, but it is worth every minute.

For the Stuffing:
1/2 cup wild rice
1 cup basmati rice
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 tablespoon turmeric
3/4 tablespoon crushed cardamom
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 bouillon cubes

For the Chicken:
1 whole chicken
2 cups orange juice
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons honey
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 bouillon cubes
10 to 15 prunes

To make the rice, begin cooking the wild rice for 1/2 an hour. In the meantime, soak your basmati rice in cold water. In another pan (on that has a lid), heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until lightly browned. Add the pine nuts and raisins to the same pan and sauté briefly until the nuts become somewhat fragrant and the raising plump a bit. Drain the basmati rice. When the wild rice is done, add the wild rice and basmati rice to the pan with the onion. Pour in about 1 1/2 cups water, add the turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, and bouillon. Once the water begins to boil and the bouillon dissolves, cover your pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 20 to 30 minutes, until the rice is cooked trough.

Preheat your oven to 350ºF/175ºC. Stuff the chicken with some of the rice mixture. Put the rest of the rice in a pyrex and cover with foil. Set it aside. Place the chicken in a baking dish (pyrex or a disposable foil one). Pour the juice over the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with paprika, honey, garlic, and rosemary. Rub so that the ingredients cover the chicken evenly. Add the bouillon and prunes to the baking dish around the chicken. Cover the chicken with foil, place the chicken in the oven, and bake for 1 hour. Then reduce the heat and bake at 220ºF/100ºC for another 3 hours. Check your chicken every 30 to 45 minutes and baste with the liquids in the baking pan. During the last hour of baking, add the remaining rice so it can warm up as well. If it dries out a little, just add some water to it and continue to bake. Remove the foil from the chicken during the last 30 minutes of baking so that it browns.

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