With this recipe, I wanted to replicate the moist, easy to pull, rotisserie chicken in my home oven. To get things started I realised that slow-cooking would be of the essence here and the next most important thing would be the pan I cook it in. Thankfully in an age of Dutch ovens with self-basting lids, this can be done quite easily. I used my Lodge combo cooker here which is basically just two heavy-duty cast iron pans that fit together tightly and trap in as much moisture as possible. After I’ve created this infernal atmosphere for my bird, I also want there to be some additional layer of flavour and basting too, so there’s not a single piece of meat that’s dry, which when I thought, instead of stuffing butter, why not stuff a kebab filling under the chicken’s skin. Both types of meat would cook together, but the kebab’s flavour and juices would drip into the chicken and it would end up being quite a spectacular roast. To finish I’d simply take the lid off, brush over the glaze and allow the top of the bird to crisp up nicely.
In the pan juices left behind, I will cook some carrots and potatoes, that will turn sticky as they cook down coating everything and making for a delicious side to go with the bird and the mince.
Kebab-Stuffed Slow-Roast Chicken With Pomegranate Molasses Glaze
Yield 6-8 servings
Slow-cooking your chicken in a Dutch Oven with a self-basting lid for hours will yield a melt-in-the-mouth tender bird with a kebab stuffing underneath the glazed chicken skin.
Chicken one 1.5-1.75kg bird, skin-on
Salt for dry brining
Garlic 1 head, halved crosswise
Onion 2 medium-sized, roughly chopped
For the kebab stuffing:
Mutton mince (preferably from leg and shoulder mixed) 500g
Roasted chickpea flour 2 heaped tbsp
Onion 1 large, very finely chopped
Garlic 1 tsp, minced
Ginger 1 tbsp, freshly grated
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Salt 1 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Green chillies 2, chopped finely
Chopped coriander leaves 2 tbsp, fresh
Oil 1 tbsp
Garam masala 1/2 tsp
Pomegranate molasses 3 tablespoons
Begin by dry-brining your bird which involves rinsing your chicken and taking out any offals that may be stuffed into the cavity. Add salt liberally inside and outside the chicken and leave it in the refrigerator overnight to chill.
The next day, take the chicken out of the refrigerator and as it comes to room temperature, get started on the kebab mixture. Add all the ingredients for the kebab to a bowl and only then mix a few times lifting the mixture and scooping it over itself to combine a few times. This way is better than overmixing. Do this a few times till everything is combined, then leave the mince mixture to chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes at least.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Stuff the kebab under the skin of the chicken and prod it as much as you can to even out the kebab and make a layer underneath the chicken’s skin.
Place the chicken in a cast iron pan with long sides that come up the chicken’s sides. Add the garlic and the onion to the pan and transfer the chicken to the oven, lid-on and let it slow-cook for up till 2- 21/2 hours or until the meat is extremely tender, juices run clear and an instant thermometer inserted into the fleshiest part of the thigh reads 165F. Towards the end of the cooking process, take the lid off, brush the pomegranate molasses over the chicken and crank up the heat basting it every 6-7 minutes until the chicken has a glossy top. If any top bits, char that's great! Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before transferring the chicken out of the pan. In the pan itself with all the pan juices still intact, add the carrots and potatoes and cook the vegetables down until fork tender. Taste for salt and serve this alongside the chicken.