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VERMICELLI RICE AND ZAATAR CHICKEN

Yields6 ServingsPrep Time30 minsCook Time50 minsTotal Time7 hrs 20 mins

HERE’S WTF YOU NEED:
 1 ⅕ kg whole chicken, no giblets and skin on
BRINE, HERE’S WTF YOU NEED:
 1 tbsp black peppercorns
 1 1- inch cinnamon stick
 34 black cardamom pods
 1 tbsp fennel seeds
 3 l water
 ½ cup kosher salt
 ¼ cup dark brown sugar
 1 tbsp dried oregano
 1 tbsp dried thyme
 2 dried bay leaves
 1 tbsp aleppo pepper flakes (substitute for 2 tbsp paprika powder)
 1 tbsp sumac (substitute for 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice)
MARINADE, HERE’S WTF YOU NEED:
 100 g salted butter (room temperature)
 2 tbsp zaatar
 1 tsp crushed black pepper
 1 tsp fennel powder
 1 tbsp orange zest
 3 tbsp garlic, crushed
 1 tsp aleppo pepper flakes (substitute for 1 tsp paprika powder)
 salt
PILAF, HERE'S WTF YOU DO:
 50 g salted butter
 2 dried bay leaves
 3 cloves garlic, crushed
 1 cup vermicelli, broken up into 1-inch pieces
 2 cups basmati rice
 6 cups chicken stock
 1 tsp lemon juice
 salt to taste
 1 cup pine nuts, toasted
HERE’S WTF YOU DO:
1

Wash, pat dry and spatchcock the chicken. Gently make space in between the skin and the flesh.

2

Next roast the cinnamon stick first, gradually adding the black cardamom, then coriander seeds and then the fennel seeds, take off heat.

3

Next, pour the water in a big pot (large enough to fit the chicken), add the roasted spices in, along with the salt, sugar, herbs, chilli and sumac. Bring to a boil and let this go for 3-5 minutes. Turn off heat and let this cool, placing the spatchcocked chicken in after and let this brine for 6 to 14 hours.

4

When you’re ready to get started, get your chicken out of the brine and discard it. Pat dry. Next, pre-heat your oven to 350°F. Get a baking tray lined with parchment sheet ready.

5

Start with the marinade. Mix the butter with 1 tbsp zaatar powder (saving 1 tbsp aside) and with the rest of the ingredients, except for the salt too. Ensure the chicken is dry and then stuff this under the chicken skin, rub all over the chicken, inside the cavities, everywhere. Finally, season the chicken on both sides with the remaining zaatar and salt. Place on the baking tray breast side up and roast for 50 minutes, stopping halfway to brush the chicken with its juices.

6

Meanwhile, get your pilaf ready. Melt butter in a pot, add the bay leaves and toss, then add the crushed garlic and vermicelli and fry until golden brown on medium heat. Add the rice in and fry for a bit too, until fragrant.

7

Pour the stock over and into the pan, give it a good stir, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until cooked. Turn off heat, pour the lemon juice over the cooked rice, fluff the rice and garnish with the toasted pine nuts.

8

When serving up, plate up with the pilaf, carve and place the chicken over and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 6