Aleppo-spiced Chicken

Furkeeh, a distinctive green wheat grain, accompanies James Tanner's spiced roast chicken, which comes from Aleppo located in northern Syria
By James Tanner
Aleppo-spiced Chicken
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes plus overnight soaking
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 kg chicken, whole
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp Aleppo mixed spices, spice blend available from specialist spice shops
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 350 ml white wine
  • 50 g walnuts
  • 50 g almonds
  • 50 g dried apricots
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • 1 small bunch basil

Tips and Suggestions

Furkeeh is a Middle Eastern green wheat grain, first soaked, then boiled, and eaten as an accompaniment to foods in much the same way as couscous.

The key spices of an Aleppo blend include pepper, allspice, cardamom, sumac, nutmeg, Aleppo pepper, cinnamon, and cumin.


1. Soak the furkeeh overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Using a sharp knife, cut a slit across the chicken legs and breast, and insert the garlic cloves

3. Rub the Aleppo spice mix all over the chicken and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4. Scatter the onions over the base of a casserole dish and pour in the white wine.

5. Place the chicken on top, cover with kitchen foil and roast for 30 minutes, basting occasionally.

6. Remove the kitchen foil, add the nuts and dried fruit and roast for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to rest.

7. Drain the soaked furkeeh and place in a saucepan with the chicken stock. Simmer gently until tender. Drain off the excess stock and add the sliced onions, meat juices from the roasting pan and the fresh basil. Season to taste.

8. Carve the chicken and serve straight away with the furkeeh.

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