I went to a dinner party a few nights ago and this was the main dish that came out at the end. It was quite possibly the nicest roast chicken I’ve ever tasted. It’s beyond simple to prepare and the final results are spectacular. When ready the chicken was laid before us in the centre of the table and we were given a fork each. The poor bird lasted all of 3 minutes.
1 large chicken
7 medium onions (thinly sliced)
3-4 tablespoons sumac
3 tablespoons pine nuts
salt & pepper
1/2 lemon (juice of)
5 large middle eastern flatbreads or lavosh bread
Preheat oven to 180ºc
Combine the sliced onions with the sumac, pine nuts, lemon juice and a generous helping of salt & pepper. Stuff the cavity of the bird with as much of the onion mix as possible. In an ovenproof dish which fits the bird snugly, place 4 flat breads in two rows of two to make a large square. Pour over some olive oil over each and rub in. Add half of the onion mix and form a bed, place the chicken over and place the rest of the onions over the top. Now bring each of the breads over the chicken to wrap it. With a final piece of bread rubbed in oil cover the chicken top and secure the best you can.
Cover the bowl tightly in aluminium foil and place in the oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Turn down the heat to 150ºc and continue baking for another 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Turn off the oven and leave for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil and take to the table. In a spectacular flourish remove the top bread. Peel back the other slices and eat alongside the chicken. The slices of bread on the side and bottom are the best.