This jewelled chicken is something I threw together one Sunday, looking through the larder to see what I could find to flavour an organic chicken. The result was this moist but gorgeous roast chicken that is somewhat different. It is in the Moroccan style in that it uses sumac and pomegranate molasses and the resulting dish is almost lemony. Serve with a spiced couscous with plenty of almonds and dried fruits, baked beetroot and a green vegetable. To save time, buy prepared pomegranate seeds and pomegranate juice, but ensure the juice is pure and unsweetened.
Serves 4 - 5
1 large organic chicken
1 large organic pomegranate
juice of 2 small organic oranges
1 tbs pomegranate molasses
1 tsp sumac (from Tescos)
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt
1 tsp melted coconut oil
1 large stick of cinnamon
350 mls quality organic chicken stock
handful skinned almonds or almond flakes
10 small onions, skinned
** 1 cup Healing Intent
1. Remove the seeds from the pomegranate and blitz half of the seeds in a food processor with the orange juice. Sieve to remove the seed residue. Set the remaining pomegranate seeds to one side.
2. In a small saucepan reduce the pomegranate/orange juice by half until thickened and add the pomegranate molasses.
3. Place the chicken in a tagine or covered casserole dish and spoon the pomegranate reduction over the chicken until the chicken skin is stained red. Brush with a little melted coconut oil and scatter the sumac and salt over the skin and tuck in several sprigs of thyme around the chicken. Cook covered in a 180C oven for one hour.
4. Meanwhile pack the onions in a small saucepan and add the chicken stock over the onions and add a sprig of thyme and cover with a lid. Over a low heat, braise the onions until soft but still firm and then transfer to a frying pan with a little coconut oil and let them saute for ten minutes or so until golden. Reserve the cooking liquid.
5. After an hour remove the lid and baste the chicken with the juices, stir in the reserved stock and place the braised onions around the chicken. Allow to cook for a further 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer.
6. To serve add some fresh sprigs of thyme, a scattering of the reserved pomegranate seeds and almonds.
** Healing Intent: when cooking foods to heal the body it is important to set your intent. The best way to do this is imagine that you are cooking this dish for yourself or for someone you love who is very ill and that this dish is the only thing that will help in their healing. You will find that the way you handle the food will change, and will not only result in a better dish, but you will feel the food actually nourishing your body and spirit.