Recipes | Roast harissa butter chicken and cracked wheat


Roast harissa butter chicken and cracked wheat

What do you do if it's a perfect summer day and you still want a Sunday roast? Make this fabulous recipe from Georgie Hayden's wonderful book Stirring Slowly, one of my favourite books of last year

Georgie writes: "This is a perfect Sunday dinner if you want something a little different but still really special. Once you’ve cooked your chicken this way I guarantee you’ll be converted, and any leftover buttery chicken is epic in a sandwich the next day.

Serves 4

4 garlic cloves, peeled

1 preserved lemon

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika

2 tablespoons harissa

a bunch of coriander

a bunch of parsley

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

80g butter, at room temperature

olive oil

1 x 1.6kg chicken

1 lemon

425ml fresh chicken stock

1 onion

2 tomatoes

350g bulgur wheat

Greek yoghurt, to serve

Preheat your oven to 190°C/gas 5. Peel the garlic. Halve the preserved lemon and remove the seeds. In a dry frying pan toast the cumin and coriander seeds until lightly toasted. Place in a food processor along with the paprika, preserved lemon, harissa, half the coriander and parsley (stalks and all) and the garlic. Season well and blitz to a paste. Add the butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and pulse until smooth.

Use your hands to carefully prise the chicken skin away from each breast, to create a pocket. Slash the skin on the thighs and rub the butter all over – under the skin mainly and all over the top. Halve the lemon and pop it into the chicken cavity, then place in a small snug-fitting roasting tray. Put it into the oven and roast for around 1¼ hours, or until golden and crisp but cooked through – check that the juices run clear around the thigh area.

Baste the chicken a couple of times during cooking with the buttery juices in the tray.

When the chicken has about 20 minutes left to cook, start the bulgur wheat. Heat your chicken stock in a medium pan. Meanwhile peel and finely chop the onion, and deseed and finely chop the tomatoes. Pour a glug of olive oil into a saucepan and put on a medium-low heat. Add the onion and sauté for 10 minutes, until soft. Add the tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes, then add the bulgur wheat. Stir for a minute, then add the hot chicken stock and season lightly. Bring to the boil, pop onthe lid, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 8 minutes, until the wheat is cooked through and fluffy, then remove from the heat. Cover the pan with a tea towel and put a lid on top to keep it warm. Chop the rest of the coriander and parsley leaves and stir through the bulgur wheat.

When the chicken is ready, leave to rest for 10 minutes, then squeeze over the lemon from the cavity and carve it up – you can carve traditionally or shred the meat into the buttery juices to keep the meat insanely moist.

Serve with the bulgur wheat and tangy thick Greek yoghurt.

What to drink: I'd personally go for a strong dry rosé with this - Spain does some good ones - but you could also drink a medium-bodied juicy Rhône or Languedoc red or even a crisp white like an assyrtiko.

Extracted from Stirring Slowly by Georgina Hayden, published by Square Peg in hardback at £20

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