Koto Psito

Greek-Style Roast Chicken

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

The Mediterranean Kitchen

By Joyce Goldstein

Published 1998

  • About

If you cook rice with sautéed onions and allspice, you have a true pilaf, but we wanted the rice to be a bit drier because this is a stuffing and the chicken gives off a lot of juice. So we cook the rice and onions separately and combine them just before stuffing the birds.

Ingredients

Stuffing

  • ¾ cup dried currants
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt
  • 1 cup long-grain rice, preferably basmati
  • cup unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • teaspoons ground allspice
  • ¾ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (optional)
  • freshly ground pepper

Basting Butter

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 Rock Cornish game hens, about pounds each (see Note)

Method

For the stuffing, soak the currants in hot water to cover for 30 minutes; drain and set aside. Heat the water in a saucepan to boiling. Add 1 tablespoon salt and stir in the rice. Cover and simmer over low heat until the water has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes; transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside. Heat the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender and translucent, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the allspice and cook a few minutes more. Add the onion mixture, currants, pine nuts, and lemon zest if using to the cooked rice and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let cool.

For the basting butter, melt the butter and stir in the allspice, garlic, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spoon the stuffing into the cavities of the hens. Place the hens on a rack in a shallow roasting or sheet pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast, basting occasionally with the butter, until the juices run clear when the leg is pierced with a skewer, 45 to 60 minutes.

Variation

Add 2 teaspoons cinnamon to the stuffing mixture and substitute almonds for the pine nuts.