Mediterranean Chicken

Chicken stuffed with rice, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes makes a tasty supper dish. Serve it with a crisp green salad and a chilled white wine.

10 fl. oz. water

11 teaspoons salt

2 oz. long-grain rice, washed, soaked in water for minutes and drained

1 oz. butter

4 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium-sized onion, chopped

1 small green pepper, white pith removed, seeded and chopped

1 large garlic clove, crushed

4 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced

4 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped

24 black olives, halved and stoned

2- teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoon dried basil X 4 lb. chicken

1 teaspoons cornflour dissolved in

4 fl. oz. white wine

In a small saucepan, bring the water and 2- teaspoon of the salt to the boil over moderate heat. When the water is boiling add the rice and boil it for 1 ½ minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the rice in a strainer. Set aside.

In a large frying-pan, melt half of the butter with half of the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion, green pepper and garlic and fry them, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the onion is golden brown.

Add half the mushrooms, half the tomatoes, half the olives, the remaining salt, the pepper, basil and the rice. Stir well to mix. Cook the mixture for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove the pan from the heat and spoon the mixture into the chicken. Sew up the opening with a trussing needle and thread or secure with a skewer.

In a saucepan that is large enough to take the chicken comfortably, melt the remaining butter with the remaining oil over moderate heat. When the foam sub-sides, reduce the heat to moderately low and put the chicken in the pan on its side.

Brown the chicken all over, turning it as it browns. When it is brown all over, turn it on its back. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook the chicken for 1 ½ hours, or until it is tender and the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer.

Using a carving fork and a large spoon, transfer the chicken to a carving board. Set aside and keep hot.

Increase the heat to high and bring the cooking juices in the saucepan to the boil. Add the remaining mushrooms, tomatoes and olives and cook, stirring occasionally, until the juices have reduced by one-third.

Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cornflour and wine mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes or until the sauce is thick. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce into a warmed sauceboat. Keep hot.

Carve the chicken into serving pieces. Spoon the stuffing into the centre of a warmed serving dish and arrange the chicken pieces around the stuffing.

Serve immediately, with the sauce.

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