In the kitchen: Roast chicken with freekeh stuffing

Joseph Gatabazi, a chef at Happy Corner Restaurant in Nyabugogo says roast chicken stuffed with freekeh is a great way to show off the super grain. Freekeh or farik is a cereal food made from green wheat that goes through a roasting process in its production.

Joseph Gatabazi, a chef at Happy Corner Restaurant in Nyabugogo says roast chicken stuffed with freekeh is a great way to show off the super grain. Freekeh or farik is a cereal food made from green wheat that goes through a roasting process in its production.

“The freekeh can be made in advance to reduce cooking time because the cook is supposed to pay good attention to detail in order to properly pull it off,” he advises.

What you’ll need

•1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra, to drizzle
•1onion, finely chopped
•150 gm minced lamb
•205 gm (1¼ cups) freekeh

•½ tsp ground cinnamon
•½ tsp ground allspice
•½ tsp ground coriander
•750 ml (3 cups) chicken stock or water
•1bay leaf
•1cinnamon quill
•1 tbsp butter
•50 g (⅓ cup) pine nuts

•40 g (½ cup) flaked almonds
•30 g (¼ cup) dried barberries
•1.8 kg whole chicken
•Lemon wedges and herb salad, to serve
•Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation

•Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add onion and cook for 3 minutes or until softened.
•Add lamb and cook for 4 minutes or until browned.
•Add freekeh and ground spices, season with pepper and cook, stirring until fragrant and freekeh are well coated.

•Add stock, bay leaf, cinnamon and 1½ tsp salt, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes or until freekeh is tender and the liquid has absorbed.
•Transfer to a large bowl. Wipe pan clean and reserve.
•Preheat oven to 200°C. Melt butter in the reserved pan over medium heat. Cook nuts for 3 minutes or until golden. Add to freekeh mixture with barberries and stir to combine.

•Pat chicken dry, including the cavity, with paper towel. Fill cavity with half the freekeh stuffing, then tie legs together with kitchen string.
•Drizzle with oil and rub all over chicken, then season with salt and pepper. Place in a lightly greased roasting pan and roast for 1 hour or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer.

• Remove from oven, cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes.
•Meanwhile, place remaining stuffing and 60 ml (¼ cup) hot water in an ovenproof dish. Cover with foil and bake for 8 minutes or until heated through.
•Carve chicken and serve with stuffing, lemon wedges and herb salad.

Compiled by P. Buchana

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