Ravinder Bhogal’s recipe for honey and lemon roast chicken with jewelled pilau rice | Food

Fresh and dried seasonal fruits comparable to quinces, cranberries, figs, apples, pears, raisins, prunes, dates and currants are apparent decisions for desserts and pastries, however shouldn’t be reserved completely for puddings. When they’re mixed with heady spices comparable to saffron, cinnamon and cardamom, they carry an ambrosial lusciousness to roast meats and poultry, stews and curries, and rice and grain pilafs. This imaginative and scrumptious means of including fruit to savoury dishes has lengthy been fashionable in North Africa and throughout the Center East, and feels opulent and celebratory, making it ultimate for the festive interval.

Perfumed honey and preserved lemon roast chicken with quince

Throughout the Center East and japanese Mediterranean, quinces are extremely prized, however in Britain we don’t actually appear to know what to make of this sweetly scented fruit that’s inedible when uncooked. Right here, because the chicken cooks, the quince caramelises within the fats, honey and spices, and imparts its personal distinctive fragrance and flavour to the dish.

Prep 45 min
Cook dinner 1 hr 10 min
Relaxation 15 min

1 x 1½kg chicken
Sea salt and pepper
100g unsalted butter
1 heaped
tsp floor ginger
1 heaped
tsp floor cinnamon
tsp allspice berries, floor
1 tsp saffron strands, pounded
½ tsp turmeric
A beneficiant grating of nutmeg
5 fats garlic cloves
, peeled
1 preserved lemon
tbsp clear honey
1 purple onion
, unpeeled and minimize in half
1½ lemons, the ½ lemon juiced and the entire lemon minimize in half
2 bay leaves
4 quinces, peeled and minimize into wedges
200ml chicken inventory
A number of drops of good-quality rose water
(I like Cortas)


Season the chicken throughout, together with contained in the cavity, with salt and pepper. Warmth the oven to 200C/180C fan/390F/gasoline 6.

In a saucepan, soften the butter over a low warmth, then stir within the ginger, cinnamon, allspice, saffron, turmeric and nutmeg. Blitz the garlic and the flesh and pores and skin of the preserved lemon till finely chopped, then add to the melted butter. Stir effectively and go away to infuse gently over a low warmth for 5 minutes. Whisk within the honey, then put aside to chill.

Therapeutic massage the pores and skin of the chicken, pinching and loosening it over the breast space, then push your fingers underneath the breast pores and skin and pull it away from the flesh, taking care to not tear it. Anoint the chicken with the melted butter, and push the pulpy lemon and garlic combine underneath the loosened breast pores and skin. Stuff the onion, lemon and bay leaves within the cavity.

Lay the quince in a roasting tray, then pour over the lemon juice. Lay the chicken breast facet down on high and pour the inventory over the fruit. Roast for half an hour, then flip the chicken breast facet up and baste with the cooking juices. Cowl tightly with foil and roast for one other half an hour (by roasting it the wrong way up first, the juices from the fatty pores and skin beneath the chicken drip down and baste the meat, that means the breast will probably be moist and succulent).

Take away the foil and roast for 10 extra minutes to crisp up the pores and skin. Take away, sprinkle with rose water, cowl tightly with foil and relaxation for 10–quarter-hour earlier than carving. The rose water will add a beautiful fragrance and light sweetness to this already aromatic dish.

Jewelled nut and cranberry rice pilaf

Ravinder Bhogal’s jewelled nut and cranberry rice pilaf
Ravinder Bhogal’s jewelled nut and cranberry rice pilaf.

The rice is cooked within the Persian-style to get a crust, or tahdig. Alongside with the textural distinction of fluffy rice, smooth fruits and crunchy nuts, this makes for a sensational crowdpleaser that’s scrumptious as a facet to the chicken and even by itself with a dollop of yoghurt.

Prep 15 min
Soak 30 min
Cook dinner 50 min
Serves 4-6

300g basmati rice
Sea salt
, to style
60g ghee
(I like Superghee)
50g flaked almonds
6 cardamom pods, bruised
1 tsp cumin
1 cinnamon quill, damaged up
1 purple onion, peeled and finely sliced
5cm piece recent ginger, peeled and finely sliced into matchsticks
50g every dried cranberries and golden raisins, soaked in sizzling water for 20 minutes, then drained
1 giant pinch saffron, soaked in 150ml sizzling water
50g nibbed pistachios
1 giant handful finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Soak the rice in a big bowl of chilly water for half-hour. Drain, then par-cook in a pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain, rinse underneath chilly working water to refresh, drain once more and put aside.

Warmth the ghee in a large casserole over a medium warmth. Fry the almonds till golden, then take away with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

Add the cardamom, cumin and cinnamon to the pot, fry briefly till aromatic, then add the sliced onions and saute till caramelised.

Add the ginger, fry till aromatic, then add half the rice and unfold evenly within the base of the pan. Cook dinner, with out stirring, till a golden crust types on the underside – this can take eight to 10 minutes – then scatter over the cranberries and sultanas, and pile the remaining rice within the centre of the pan to type a mound. Don’t stir.


Pour within the saffron water, cowl the pan with a lid and go away prepare dinner for quarter-hour. Take off the warmth and put aside, nonetheless coated, to steam for about 5 minutes. Garnish with the nuts and parsley, and serve heat with the chicken.

Fiona Beckett’s drinks match I’m tempted to counsel an orange wine to go with this unique recipe – it tends to go notably effectively with quince – however that could be a step too far for Christmas. White Rhône or Roussillon could be a much less difficult selection: attempt Domaine Lafage Centenaire 2020 (£11.60, a luscious mix of grenache and roussanne or, from subsequent month, Aldi’s Vacqueyras Blanc 2020 (£9.99, 13.5%), which is a part of that grocery store’s new Winemaster’s Lot vary.

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