Almost everyone living in the countryside grows hens, so they have the chance of having fresh and organic eggs and chicken, which are definetely tastier than their market versions as hens are not fed with any filler or chemicals. Living in a small village as a kid, I know that people in such small villages would catch one of the best chickens they grow and prepare it for dinner whenever they have important guests. The most common chicken dish for their guests is stuffed chicken. This food always reminds me of my village and people living there. It is normally stuffed with rice, but I replaced it with bulgur as I find it healthier and I think it gives a very nice flavor to chicken when combined with other ingredients.
- 1 whole chicken, cleaned
- ½ lemon, to rub chicken
- 1 tsp salt, to rub chicken
- 1 liter water, to boil chicken
- 1 tbsp butter, to spread on chicken before oven cooking
- 1 cup bulgur (or rice)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 tomato, chopped
- ½ bunch of parsley, chopped
- A few sprigs fresh mint, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp black pepper
- A pinch of cinnamon
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Wash chicken. Chop lemon with its zest, mix it with salt, rub chicken with these and wait for about 10 minutes to remove any unpleasant smell it has. Wash it again and put aside.
- Mix all filling ingredients.
- Sew the neck hole of chicken with a heavy needle and thread before stuffing so that the filling doesn’t leak out. I used the same thread used for sewing clothes.
- Stuff it through the other hole on its end.
- Don’t press down the filling firmly as bulgur will rise when cooked.
- Sew up this hole in the same way.
- If you have leftover filling, you can make it pilaf in a small pan pouring a little hot water.
- Put stuffed chicken in a big pot.
- Pour 1 liter water over it and boil. You can increase the amount of water until it covers the chicken. Boil it for about 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven at 200C.
- Transfer the stuffed chicken into an oventray.
- Pour a few ladles of water in which you boil the chicken.
- Spread butter on it and cook until golden.