Sweet and sour stuffed spatchcock
1 tsp saffron threads
½ tsp white sugar
½ cup ghee
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
120 g (1 cup) dried barberries*, chopped
170 g (1 cup) seeded prunes, chopped
75 g (½ cup) dried sour cherries*, chopped
75 g (½ cup) dried apricots, chopped
1 granny smith apple, peeled cored, chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
50 g (½ cup) walnuts, chopped
95 g (¼ cup) pomegranate concentrate or pomegranate molasses*
4 x 500 g spatchcocks
dill, tarragon, pomegranate and Persian steamed saffron rice, to serve
Preheat oven to 200°C. Using a mortar and pestle, grind saffron and sugar until fine. Place in a bowl with 60ml hot water and stir to dissolve. Set aside.
Melt 3 tbs ghee in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and cook for 4 minutes or until golden. Add dried fruits, apple, spices and walnuts, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until fragrant and combined. Add saffron water, and cook for a further 3 minutes or until dried fruits are slightly softened. Stir in pomegranate concentrate and season with salt and pepper. Cool.
Working with one spatchcock at a time, pat skin and cavity dry with paper towel, then rub skin liberally with salt. Fill cavity with dried fruit mixture, then secure with toothpicks.
Place spatchcocks in a greased roasting pan and brush with remaining 3 tbs ghee. Bake, basting halfway, for 45 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve spatchcocks with herbs, pomegranate and saffron rice.
* Dried barberries are tart red berries, available in the frozen section of specialist and Middle Eastern food shops.
* Dried sour cherries are available from selected delis.
* Pomegranate concentrate is from Persian food shops. Pomegranate molasses is slightly thicker in consistency, and is available from delis and Middle Eastern food shops.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 13, pg83.
Photography by John Laurie
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