Roast Chicken with Vine Leaves and Pistachio Herb Stuffing
The vine leaves help keep the chicken moist and impart a lovely nutty flavour, they look stunning too! The leaves are available in jars at gourmet food stores and some supermarkets.
1 whole size 16 Rangitikei chicken
4-6 large vine leaves
40 gms butter
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
½ cup chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary etc)
4 fresh dates, chopped
1 ½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon garam marsala
1 tablespoon honey
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degs. Heat the butter in a medium frying pan and sauté the onion, garlic, pistachios and herbs for 2-3 minutes over a medium-low heat until soft and fragrant. Add the dates and breadcrumbs and season well. stuff the chicken and secure the legs with kitchen string.
Combine the olive oil, turmeric, cumin, garam marsala and honey and baste generously over the chicken.
Lay the vine leaves out flat slightly overlapping and place the chicken in the centre. Carefully fold the leaves over to enclose the chicken. Spray the leaves with oil.
Place the vine wrapped chicken on a sheet of foil and loosely fold over to cover, the chicken, place in a lined roasting pan and cook for 1 hour, fold out the foil the vine leaves and baste with any pan juices, cook a further 15 -20 minutes or until the juices run clear and the chicken is golden.
Serve with roasted vegetable salad.