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For festive dinners I like to roast a whole chicken, with little trouble they become an impressive entree.


There are many recipes for the roasted chicken that is so good as this recipe. What makes this recipe unique is the middle eastern way on roasting the bird. Using a blend of spice seasoning mix that is massaged on the outside of the chicken, makes even the most finicky eaters being enthusiastic about the chicken’s intense, appetizing aroma, succulent meat, and beautifully browned skin.

A whole meal in one dish, with the addition of the vegetables that surrounds the chicken and has the whole flavors. Plus, to make it an easy to make recipe, by using the oven bag, just you need to wipe the inside of the bag with oil then flour to make sure the chicken skin will not stick with the bag.

The rice pilaf is one of the classics that you find in all middle east countries, it goes particularly well as an accompaniment with roasted chicken and it also often forms a stuffing for the bird.


Roast Chicken

2 whole game hen (1 1/2- 2 pounds), rinsed and patted dry
Salt and ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon of each of cardamom, dried coriander, turmeric, whole spice, cumin, and paprika
fresh thyme leaves
2 medium onions, cut quarters or smaller
3 medium carrots, cut into 3-inch lengths
3 medium red potatoes, cut quarters
1 table spoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Clean the chicken then pat dry with kitchen wipes.

Mix the salt and pepper with the other spices. Season chicken inside and out with spice mix, pour some olive oil and massage the chicken. make sure to reach under the skin so the chicken will absorb and have all the flavor and aroma of the spices.

Place the chicken in the oven bag in a roasting pan.

In a large bowl, toss onions, carrots, and potatoes with oil; season with salt and pepper.

Scatter vegetables around chicken, arranging it at the edge and underneath. close the bag and tuck the knot underneath, make a small slut in the bag.

Put the pan in the oven with 450 degree for 20 minutes then lower the temperature to 400 for another 40 minutes until chicken is golden brown and juices run clear when pierced between breast and leg (an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part of a thigh, avoiding bone, should read 165 degrees).



Jeweled Rice

2 cups basmati rice, rinsed
Cinnamon stick, bay leaves
1/3 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/3 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Salt & pepper
about 2 3/4 cup hot water
4 tablespoon canola oil
1 medium onion, peeled, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sumac, for the onion
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried of each black cherries, cranberries
Olive oil

In a bowl, soak the raisins, cranberries, and black cherried in hot boiling water. set aside while you make the rice.

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoon canola oil, add the bay leafs, cinnamon, and the washed and drained rice.

Add the ground cardamom, the coriander, the turmeric, salt and pepper. Toast for 1 min under low heat with stirring occasionally.

Add the boiling water and magi chicken broth cubes. Bring it to boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes or until the rice grains expand in length. Don’t open the lid before the rice is done cooking.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, sauté onions until golden brown, add turmeric and sumac, stir and put on a seive or kitchen papper to get rid of the eccess oil.

In the same skillet, add raisins, cranberries and black cherries, toast a little until the raisins puffed, transfer immediatly to kitchen papper to soak the eccess oil.

Finally, with the same skillet, add the pine nuts and toast until gold in color, add some oil if it needed.

Add 3/4 of the amount of onions, raisins, cherries, and nuts to the rice. Save the rest to add it to the top while serving. Stir gently with large spatula, make sure not to break the rice grains.


To serve, mound rice on a serving platter. Garnish with the browned onion, toasted raisins, cherries, cranberries, and pine nuts. Serve warm. Jeweled rice may be served with salad and yogurt.