Recipe: Marinated chicken stuffed with brown rice and grapes
Total time: About 3 hours
Servings:4 to 6
1/4 cup unsweetened pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (4- to 5-pound) whole chicken
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pomegranate molasses, honey, ground coriander, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, black pepper, ginger, crushed garlic and one-half teaspoon salt.
2. Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place the chicken in a glass or non-reactive bowl and rub marinade into the skin and inner cavity, then pour over any remaining marinade. Cover and chill overnight.
Rice and assembly
3 cups long-grain brown rice
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cinnamon sticks
5 1/4 cups water plus 1 cup boiling water, divided
2 cups coarsely chopped sweet onion
1 cup mixed finely chopped fresh herbs (dill, cilantro, Italian parsley)
1 1/2 cups sliced white or red grapes
1. Place the rice in a wire mesh strainer and rinse under running water. Drain. Heat a heavy-bottom pot over medium-high heat until hot and add 3 tablespoons of oil. Stir in the rice and sauté, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes to coat and lightly toast the rice (the rice will not brown, but the edges of the rice should be lightly translucent).
2. Stir in the cinnamon sticks, 5¼ cups water and a scant teaspoon salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover and cook at a gentle simmer until the rise is almost done and the liquid is mostly evaporated, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator to temper slightly while you finish the rice.
4. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat until hot. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then the onion and sauté until golden brown, stirring frequently, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Add the rice, herbs and grapes, stirring quickly with a fork. Remove the cinnamon sticks and season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Remove the chicken from the marinade, saving the marinade. Stuff the chicken with 1½ cups of the rice mixture, and truss.
6. Place the chicken in a Dutch oven, and pour over the marinade and the cup of boiling water. Cover and bake for 1 hour, basting occasionally. Remove the cover and continue to roast until the chicken is golden brown and a thermometer inserted in the meat and stuffing reaches 165 degrees, basting often, about 30 minutes.
7. Rewarm the rice as needed in the oven, or on the stove top. Transfer the rice to a large serving platter. Place the chicken on the rice and spoon over the liquids remaining in the pot. Serve immediately.