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The distinctive tang of pomegranate powder and limon omani is balanced by the sweetness of dried figs and pomegranate molasses in this take on roasted chicken.
Recipe by Lior Lev Sercarz, from "Mastering Spice" by Lior Lev Sercarz
2 whole limon omani (dried Persian lime;8 grams)
2 teaspoons green cardamom pods (4 grams)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons pomegranate powder (5 grams)
1 1⁄2 teaspoons dill seeds (3 grams)
Crack and crush the limon omani into smaller pieces by pressing them against a cutting board with your palm. Transfer the pieces to a spice grinder along with the cardamom. Finely grind and immediately mix with the pomegranate powder and whole dill seeds.
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 whole chicken (5 pounds)
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1⁄4 cup sherry vinegar
1 cup whole dried figs
To make the chicken: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Coat a medium roasting pan with oil (3 to 4 tablespoons). Add the onions, figs, one-third of the spice blend, and a pinch of salt. Toss until the onions are well coated and spread them in an even layer. Pour the vinegar over the onions.
Line a half sheet pan or other large rimmed pan with parchment paper and set the chicken on the pan. Using a very sharp knife or poultry shears, cut the chicken along one side of the backbone to split it in half. Open the chicken. Arrange the chicken breast-side up and press down on both sides of the breastbone to flatten it.
Drizzle the chicken with oil to coat (1 to 2 tablespoons) and then with the pomegranate molasses. Rub the oil and pomegranate molasses all over the chicken and sprinkle with the remaining spice blend to evenly coat. Sprinkle salt all over the chicken and place it on top of the onions, skin-side up. Scrape any spices and juices from the prep pan over the chicken.
Roast, basting the chicken every 20 minutes, until the skin is evenly browned and a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 150°F, about 1 hour. When you stick the cooked chicken with the thermometer, its juices should run clear.
Remove the chicken from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with onions, figs, and pan sauce.
In place of the blend above, Isphahan would be a great substitute.