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Moroccan Roast Chicken With Dried Fruits And Nuts
Jewish Food: The World at Table by Matthew Goodman
This splendid chicken dish, in which the fruit cooks down into a magnificent marmalade, is from Rachel Suissa of Hollywood, Florida, who grew up in Casablanca. In her family this dish was commonly served on Rosh Hashanah, Passover, and other festive events. Not at all difficult to make, it is perfect whenever you're looking for something a bit grander than a simple roast chicken.
· 6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
· 2 pounds onions, thinly sliced
· 1 cup pitted prunes, halved
· 1 cup dried apricots, halved
· 1 cup dried figs, halved
· 1 cup shelled walnut pieces
· Freshly ground black pepper
· 2 tablespoons sugar
· 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
· 1 chicken, 3 to 4 pounds
· 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
· Freshly ground black pepper
· 1/2 cup blanched almonds for sprinkling
1. Heat the 6 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until lightly caramelized, about 30 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Add the next 8 ingredients to the bowl. Stir until fully combined.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rub the chicken with the remaining teaspoon of oil, then rub it with the turmeric. Season it inside and out with salt and pepper. Place the chicken in a large roasting pan. Spoon the fruit-nut mixture around the chicken, adding some of it to the cavity. Add 2 cups of water to the pan.
4. Roast the chicken for 1½ to 1¾ hours, turn it once for even browning, until the skin is well browned and the chicken juices run clear when the chicken is poked with a knife. After 1 hour, check the pan to make sure it still has liquid in it. If not, add water as necessary.
5. While the chicken is cooking, toast the almonds in a dry medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring regularly, until lightly colored, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
6. When the chicken is fully cooked, remove it to a carving board and let it rest for 10 minutes. Remove the fruit-nut stuffing from the cavity and place it on a large serving platter, along with the rest of the fruit-nut mixture. Carve the chicken and transfer it to the serving platter. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Serve warm.
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