Preheat the oven to 160°C fan bake.
SHAWARMA SPICE MIX
Put all the seeds and the peppercorns in a dry frying pan and toast over a medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring frequently. Tip into a spice grinder with the remaining ingredients and blitz until finely ground.
Place the lemon halves and herbs in the chicken cavities and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Tuck the wings under the breast. Rub the chickens with olive oil and season with salt. Sprinkle the spice mix generously all over both chickens.
Place the chickens on a rack set over a baking dish and pour in enough water to cover the base of the dish. Don’t pour it over the chickens. Roast for 1 hour and 40 minutes, covering loosely with foil when the chickens are a gorgeous golden colour and adding more water to the dish if it looks dry. To test for doneness, check that when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, the juices run clear. Rest, loosely covered, for 10 minutes.
Place the chickens on a serving platter and scatter over the combined parsley and pistachios. We served ours with our Pomegranate-roasted Eggplant with Mint and Almond Salsa.
POMEGRANATE-ROASTED EGGPLANT WITH MINT AND ALMOND SALSA (gf) (v)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- 2 large eggplants, cut into quarters
- sea salt and ground pepper
- ¼ cup each mint and parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- finely grated zest 1 lemon
- ½ cup roasted, skin-on almonds, roughly chopped
- 8 green olives, flesh sliced off the stone
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1½ cups thick plain yoghurt
- 2-3 tablespoons harissa, optional
- mint leaves, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 180˚C fan bake.
Combine the olive oil and pomegranate molasses and brush over the cut sides of the eggplant. Place on a large, baking paper-lined tray and season well with salt and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, turning once, until tender but not collapsing. Set aside.
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season.
Spread the yoghurt over a large platter and marble through the harissa, if using. Top with the eggplant, then spoon over the salsa and extra mint leaves.