Nigella says that roast chicken is the "basic unit of cooking" and when we had friends over for Sunday lunch recently, my first thoughts went to roast chicken. But I wanted something a bit more interesting than that, so I chose a recipe book I don't use very often - the Kitchenaid Recipe Collection - and had a look at the poultry section. There was a recipe for Person chicken with walnut pomegranate sauce that looked delicious and really colourful so this is what I decided to make.
I changed the recipe a bit as the instructions were for a jointed chicken (using pieces like legs and thighs) and I wanted to do a whole chicken - one of the people I was cooking for doesn't eat meat on the bone so I thought being able to slice breast meat would be best. I also added oil to the paste mixture as it seemed too dry otherwise, and put the paste under the skin of the chicken as I don't like to eat the skin so it would be wasted by putting it on top. I used less onion and sugar in the sauce as well.
1 whole chicken
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. oil
2 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp saffron threads, lightly crushed
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
for the sauce:
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cups pomegranate juice
3 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
50g pomegranate seeds
roast potatoes and vegetables to serve (though this would also go well with couscous or rice).
In a bowl mix the cumin, lemon juice and zest, turmeric, saffron, cinnamon, salt, pepper and oil until you have a thick paste. Spread under the skin of the chicken.
Cook the chicken according to pack instructions based on weight.
About 20 minutes before the chicken is ready to eat make the sauce. Place the onions with a few sprays of Fry Light in a small pan and heat until the onion has softened. Add the pomegranate juice, sugar, cumin and saffron. Bring to the boil and simmer until syrupy. Remove from the heat, stir in the walnuts, salt and pepper and pomegranate seeds.
The roast chicken was delicious as always and the spice rub was a nice change and the sauce went very well with it - though next time I might go back to bread sauce as I absolutely love bread sauce!