FEAST OF THE BIRDS
Thanksgiving Stuffed Bird, Iraqi Style
|Abbasid chicken, detail from 'Aja'ib al-Makhluqat (13th-century), F 1954.101, Smithsonian Institution|
|Chicken before stuffing|
1. To prepare the bird:
Wash it and rub it with vinegar and salt inside and out and let it stand for 30 minutes. Drain and dry. Then rub it with lemon juice. Mix the spices and rub them onto the bird inside and out, and then place it, bottom down, in a colander fitted on a bowl, at room temperature, until ready for stuffing.
Hold the bird with one hand and with the fingers of the other, starting with the neck part, separate skin from flesh, going down slowly all the way to the thighs, taking care not to pierce the skin with your nails. This will create a pocket to hold the stuffing.