I love Autumn, purely for the comfort food that we are now 'allowed' to eat. Of course we can eat these things any time but it just FEELS right to eat these things in a time when the weather has turned and darker nights are arriving. During Ramadan and Family get togethers my mother always cooks Djaj Meh-shi. It literally means stuffed chicken. But the way that she cooks it and makes it just reminds me of her and that is always a positive thing. She is the best after all!
I decided to make this one Sunday at Baity just to try and see how it went with our customers and if i say so myself it went down a treat! Most of our customers love to eat new things that are not typical on a middle eastern menu in a restaurant and this was something enjoyed by all.
It is simple which is the best part of it. Just two stages and DONE!
First step is to make the rice and mince mixture and part cook it. I almost cook it 70% of the way as i like it a little sticky when it has a finished result stuffed in the chicken ready to eat.
for 2-4 poussin
2 cups of Egyptian rice or basmati rice
250g Minced lamb
- Add mince to a hot pan and season with nutmeg and cinnamon, salt and pepper. You will want the meat to go colour well and cook most of the way. Taste the meat to see if it has enough flavour.
- Now add the rice and mix till it is all combined and the rice has been slightly toasted.
- Add the water and cook as you would normal rice.
- Taste the water to check for seasoning. You may have to add more. If it tastes simply of water now is the time to add more cinnamon and nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Let it cook 3/4 of the way and the take it off the pan and let it cool slightly so you can handle it and stuff the poussin.
- Once it has cooled, stuff the poussin and close the legs with string to stop the rice from over flowing. Season the chicken with the same spices covering all over and place them in a shall dish, adding water 1/2 way and 2 roughly chopped onions.
- Cook at 190 degrees C for 1 hour - 1 hour 15 mins
- Seal with foil for the first half of cooking and then remove foil for the last part to get a nice crisp top.
- Keep the stock and drizzle over the chicken and serve with full fat Greek yoghurt.
This is such a delicious moorish homey meal that you can make over and over again, and is also quite easy on your wallet. Which is never a bad thing.
Do let me know how it goes....