Friday, March 9, 2012

Roast Chicken with Apple Stuffing and Ginger-Saffron Rice

Fry's grocery store had whole frying chickens on sale for 77 cents a pound this week, so I bought two of them. I had a few apples, an orange and some celery that needed to be used before they went bad. Since I still had nearly 4 1/2 pounds of rice left from our last trip to Pro's Ranch Market, I decided to go Asian with this chicken. We've been making masala chai every day, so I had ginger, allspice and coriander on hand. I found a jar of saffron strands that I had forgotten in our pantry cabinet. I don't usually use an expensive spice like saffron, but the gentle, slightly floral flavor was perfect when combined with the apple slices and orange juice.

Ingredients and Equipment:
5 1/2-pound whole frying chicken
9 tbsp cooking oil
Dried basil
Roasting pan
3 to 4 stalks celery
Chef's knife
Cutting board
2 Red Delicious apples
1 seedless navel orange
12-inch diameter saute pan with tight-fitting lid
Wok spatula
1 teaspoon coriander seed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 to 8 saffron strands or 1/2 teaspoon dried turmeric powder
Serving platter
1 cup uncooked rice
6 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon dried ginger powder
1 teaspoon allspice powder
Chicken giblets (gizzard, heart, liver, neck)

Thaw the chicken overnight in the refrigerator or in a pot of cold water. Rub the entire chicken with oil, working it into all the folds and cavities of the wings and thighs.

Sprinkle the entire chicken with salt, including the neck and main body cavities. Repeat with dried basil. Place the chicken in the roasting pan and allow it to rest while you prepare the apples, rice and giblets.

Chop 1 cup of celery very fine. Quarter, core and thin-slice two Red Delicious apples and cut the orange in half.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch diameter saute pan on medium high. Add 1 teaspoon each of coriander seed and red pepper flakes, plus 6 to 8 saffron strands, or you can substitute 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder for the saffron.

Stir-fry the spices for 1 minute to release all the flavors. Add the celery to the pan and stir-fry it for 3 minutes. Toss the sliced apples into the pan and stir-fry everything for another 3 minutes. Remove the apples and place them on a serving plate.

Add 1 cup of uncooked rice to the saute pan. Stir-fry the rice constantly until it turns golden-brown. Pour 6 cups of water or chicken stock and stir to ensure that none of the rice grains stick to the bottom of the pan.

Squeeze the juice from the orange halves into the pan. Tear the orange peel into four pieces and float it on top of the rice water. Stir in 1 tablespoon of powdered ginger and 1 teaspoon of allspice powder and cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid.

Simmer the rice on medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes.

Slice the gizzard and heart into 1/8-inch thicknesses. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a separate skillet for 1 minute. Carefully slide the sliced giblets into the oil to avoid spatter. Pan-fry them for 3 minutes, until they are browned on all sides.

Add the apple slices and stir-fry everything for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the giblets to a separate plate. Stuff half the stir-fried apple slices into the chicken, followed by the pieces of orange peel.

Stuff the remaining half of the apple slices into the chicken. Spoon the rice around the chicken and over the body cavities. Press the wing tips against the chicken's body and cover them with rice.

Bake covered at 400 degrees F for 40 minutes. Turn the roasting pan around in the oven to ensure even cooking. Remove the cover and bake the chicken for another 20 minutes. Turn the oven to broil for 7 minutes to crisp the skin.

Allow the chicken to rest in the oven for 15 minutes before serving

1 comment:

  1. Wow! This sounds excellent!! I'm definitely going to have to try this recipe :) Thanks for sharing. If you feel like it, please feel free to share your link on my home blog. I have a description @ and you can post a link every week if you like. This definitely meets the gluten/allergy free criteria :)