Monday,24 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1299, (9 - 15 June 2016)
Monday,24 September, 2018
Issue 1299, (9 - 15 June 2016)

Ahram Weekly

Sufra Dayma: Whole chicken stuffed with cracked wheat (fereek)

Serves 2-4

1 whole small chicken (750-1000 gm weight, washed, drained)
3 cups crushed wheat, fereek (picked clean, washed, soaked in tap water for 30-45 min.)
One large onion (finely chopped)
One onion (whole)
150 gm slivered almonds (roasted), (optional)
3 tbsp whole milk or pouring cream
1 tsp tomato paste
2 cardamom pods + 1 bay leaf + tiny piece of wooden cinnamon stick
30 gm butter
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt + pepper + grated nutmeg + 7 spices

Strain well soaked wheat in a strainer.  Heat a medium-sized pan on high.  Lower heat to medium then add butter and oil.  Stir in chopped onion until just translucent.  Add all seasoning.  Stir until fragrant; without allowing colour of onion to change.  Add drained wheat.  Stir constantly into pan, until wheat starts to dry out and you hear a swooshing sound; (2-3 minutes).  Remove away from heat.  Add roasted almonds; stirring them in, to integrate with contents, in the heat of pan.  Cover and leave aside.  Allow to reach room temperature before proceeding.  Meanwhile, season chicken the moment it is drained, with a mixture combining the four seasonings.  When stuffing is completely cooled off, fluff contents well with a fork.  Start stuffing by means of a tablespoon, or by hand, pushing within the lower cavity of chicken, against you and upwards towards chest of chicken, until you fill all the cavity facing you.  Truss legs from the outer end of the drumsticks.  Fill a large cooking pan, with enough water to cover chicken.  Bring water to the boil.  Add chicken and whole onion to pan.  Do not cover back.  Remove froth, when collected.  Repeat process until no more froth collects.  Add cardamom, wooden cinnamon stick and bay leaf.  Add some salt and pepper.  Cover pan and lower heat to medium.  When chicken is almost done, remove from stock by means of a wide slotted spatula and gently place it in an ovenproof dish or tray.  Mix cream or milk with tomato paste.  Season with some salt and pepper.  Smear all around the chicken to cover skin and bake, uncovered, in a preheated oven of 200 degrees C.  When golden brown, remove from oven.  Allow to rest for almost ten minutes, before serving and carving.  Serve with melokheya or kishk.  Ramadan Kareem everybody...!

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