An exotic rub permeates this plump, juicy roasted chicken served on a bed of cumin spiced rice with sautéed Brussels sprouts, carrots and golden raisins. A North African spice mix, Baharat is traditionally used to season lamb, but is a flavor booster for other meats, poultry and vegetable dishes as well. Freshly ground black pepper and sweet paprika form the base of the Baharat rub with cumin, coriander, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom rounding out the flavors. The mint seasoned yogurt is similar to a Labneh, a middle eastern yogurt cheese made from whole-milk Greek yogurt. Unseasoned, Labneh can be used in the place of cream cheese.
Inspired by coriander and sumac roast chicken with chickpeas and hazelnuts featured in the February issue of Sunset magazine and with many of the ingredients for the Baharat rub on hand, I fashioned a new dish using Brussels sprouts, carrots and a cumin spiced rice. The dish was a big success with my family and I hope you will enjoy this eclectic roast chicken meal.
Baharat Roast Chicken with Brussels Sprouts and Carrots
3 tablespoons Baharat spice rub (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon salt
1 whole chicken 4 to 4 1/2 pounds
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 lemon, quartered
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
10 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2 carrots, peeled and sliced thin
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chicken broth
Hot cumin rice for six (recipe follows)
Plain whole-milk yogurt seasoned with dried mint and top sprinkled with Baharat seasoning
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Rub the chicken with 1-1/2 tablespoons oil. Combine the salt and the Baharat spice mixture, rub inside and out of chicken. Put lemon and onion in cavity. Set chicken breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Secure wings with toothpicks and tie legs together loosely with kitchen twine.
Roast chicken 45 minutes, then baste with pan juices every 15 minutes or so until a leg joint wiggles easily or to a temperature of 165 degrees F.
In heavy skillet, heat remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons olive over medium heat. Saute Brussels sprout until lightly browned about 3 minutes, add carrots, saute 1 minute. Add raisins and chicken broth and cook until sprouts are tender when pierced with a sharp knife. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, spread rice on a platter. Arrange Brussels sprouts and carrots over the hot cumin rice and place chicken on top. Serve with yogurt.
Cumin Spiced Rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup white rice
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups chicken broth, or water
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a heavy pot over medium heat, add rice, onion and ground cumin. Saute, stirring frequently until rice is slightly browned. Add chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook over 12-15 minutes until liquid has evaporated and rice is tender. Keep hot.
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine all ingredients. Store in a covered container away from light. Makes about 1/2 cup.
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