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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Perfect Sunday Roast: Stuffed Citrus Chicken with Rosemary & Sumac

I love Sunday afternoons because my father comes for lunch or linner :) (late lunch, early dinner) and Mike and I cook a full meal: starter, main course, and dessert.

Today I decided to try my luck with a fresh spinach & beet salad, roast free-range chicken stuffed with some goodies that I will write about in a nick (be patient!), accompanied by roast carrots with thyme, roast potatoes with ramson & mint raita, and a scrumptious lemon sponge with rosemary. Mike did the extra stuffing for the chicken, which consists of bread crumbs, wheat grain, garlic, onion, chopped almonds, sage, and thyme. In Romania we rarely eat bread stuffing with chicken, and I was a bit apprehensive at first, but I must say, it's a delicious combination and it enhances the taste of the chicken.

Stuffed Citrus Chicken with Rosemary & Sumac

Yesterday evening I bought a free-range chicken from Carrefour and the moment I saw it, I knew I had to roast it. My father loves roast-anything, so roast chicken is a fixture. :)

I roasted it gently for the best part of two hours at 200 degrees Celsius, giving it time to 'golden' and ripen. 

Have I ever told you how much I love lemons? Hence, the name of my blog: Lemon Love Notes, though I have never attempted to make Lemon Love Notes...which is kind of weird. I have used lemon to its fullest today, though making sure things wouldn't get sour. Lemon imbues food with a fresh scent to which I'm addicted. 

For this recipe it is preferable that you buy a free-range, organic chicken. You'll recognize them because of their skin - it is golden in colour, and goose-bumpy - thanks to actual feathers, which have been plucked. It is unfortunately more expensive, but it is worth it because roast chicken should taste like roast chicken, and free-range chicken does! 

You will need the following herbs, fruits and spices

the fresh orange rind from 1 orange

Camargue salt or any fleur de sel

the skin of a thick slice of lemon (supper finely diced)

3 cloves of garlic

a handful of coriander seeds (half of them crushed)

half a stick of cinnamon- crushed

fresh rosemary

a shake of sumac to sprinkle over the chicken

extra virgin olive oil with which to brush the chicken

To stuff the chicken, use

3 extra cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

20-ish pumpkin seeds

a small branch of rosemary

the remainder of the peeled slice of lemon

the remainder of the orange rind

4 or 5 ramson leaves, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 200c while you are dealing with the bird. 

Trim the chicken, rinse it with cold water, and tap it with a kitchen towel to dry it up.

Brush the chicken with olive oil, fleur de sel, and orange rind. Use a very sharp knife to pierce through the skin and the meat in order to insert the rosemarygarlic, cinnamon, and lemon skin cubes

Sprinkle the sumac and the coriander seeds over. My advice is that you do not squeeze any lemon juice over the uncooked chicken. Do it just before you serve it hot. The sumac is lemony enough. 

Wrap the chicken in aluminium foil and roast it for 2 full hours. Ten minutes before taking it out of the oven, unwrap the chicken and switch the oven to the fan setting to accelerate the roasting process and make the skin super crunchy. 

This chicken is super-easy to make; basically, all you need to do is to have the herbs and spices at hand and then you let the oven do the rest. 

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