How To Make Persian Chicken


* 1 ½ kg chicken, cleaned
* Juice of 2 lemons
* Juice of 2 oranges
* 1 ½ onions
* 100 g butter
* 40 g seedless raisins
* 180 g prunes, stoned
* 180 g dried apricots, diced
* 1 tsp ground cinnamon
* Salt and freshly ground pepper
* 55 g pine kernels
* 1 ½ tsp ground sumac (optional)
* 1 mixing bowl
* 3 small bowls
* 1 large spoon for mixing
* 1 heavy based saucepan with lid
* 1 wooden spoon
* 1 chopping board
* 1 brush
* 1 roasting tray
* 1 skewer or sharp knife
* 1 blender or a big knife
* String


Step 1:

Prepare the ingredients

Mix the lemon and orange juice and divide it equally into 3 separate bowls. In one of them, soak the apricots, in another the raisins and in the third, soak the prunes. Leave for 30 minutes.

Step 2:

Preheat the oven

Set the temperature of the oven at 190ºC, that's 375ºF or gas mark 5.

Step 3:

Prepare and cook the onions

Slice the onions finely. Melt half the butter in the saucepan, add the onion and sweat for a few minutes until soft.

Step 4:

Add apricots, prunes and raisins

Meanwhile, drain the raisins, prunes and dried apricots and add them to the onion in the pan. Mix together and cook gently, for a few more minutes until fairly dry.

Step 5:

Add the spices

Add the cinnamon, season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well. Add the pine kernels and then set aside to cool.

Step 6:

Blend the mix

When cold, pulse in a blender or roughly chop with a knife.

Step 7:

Prepare the chicken

Place the chicken on the chopping board and carefully pull the skin away from the flesh to reveal a cavity. Stuff the dried fruit mixture evenly between the skin and the flesh. Pull the skin gently back over the filling until it fits well again.

Step 8:

Tie the chicken up

Prepare a piece of string of about 60cm long and tie the chicken beginning at the front and finishing at the bottom.

Step 9:

Season the chicken

Melt the remaining butter and brush it evenly over the chicken. Season with salt and pepper. If using the sumac, sprinkle it over the chicken now then place it in a roasting tray together with the left over butter.

Step 10:

Cook the chicken

Place the chicken in the centre of the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 170ºC, 340ºF or gas mark 3 and cook for a further hour.

Step 11:

Test the chicken

Insert a sharp knife into the thickest part of the thigh of the chicken. If the juices run clear then it is fully cooked. If not, leave it to cook for a few minutes more and check again

Step 12:

Remove from the oven

Take the roasted chicken out of the oven and remove the string.

Step 13:


Pour the juices from cooking over the chicken to act as a sauce and serve immediately.