From The Monday Morning Cooking Club: The Feast Goes On , slightly modified for simplicity
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 whole chicken (1.6-2kg)
- 2 large onions, peeled & chopped
- 1 tin diced tomatoes (original recipe has 3 peeled & chopped tomatoes + 2 tsp tomato paste)
- 875ml (3.5 cups) water
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 660g (3 cups) basmati rice
- 1.5 tablespoons baharat spice mix (salt, peper, cassia/cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, cardamom)
Use an oven-proof dish large enough to hold the chicken & rice (our round Le Creuset is the minimum).
Heat the oil, brown the chicken all over then set aside. Fry the onion over medium heat until pale golden, add tomatoes and stir. Return the chicken to the dish, add 2 cups of the water, salt & pepper. Bring to the boil, cover, simmer for 30 mins.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 110C. Wash the rice a few times, then place in a bowl and cover with water to soak until required.
After simmering, remove chicken from the dish and set aside. Taste the onion and tomato mix and season if required. Drain the rice and add to onion & tomato mix along with the spice mix and remaining water. Bring to the boil.
Return the chicken to the dish, burying it in the rice. Put the lid on the dish and cook in oven for 4 hours, checking from time to time to ensure it’s not burning. A deep golden crust of rice should form.
To serve, place the chicken in the centre of a large platter, surrounded by the rice and rice crusts. The chicken should fall off the bones.