This favorite dish of medieval Baghdad consisted of a sweet pudding which was set at the bottom of a tannuur oven to catch the juices of roasting meat, which would be served with the pudding. Here we have a recipe from the collection of Caliph al-Wathiq (842–847).
- 1 chicken
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons rosewater
- ground saffron
- 1 pound dried apricots
- 2 fresh lavashes, Mexican flour tortillas or other flatbreads, 12″ in diameter
- ½ cup sugar
- Wash chicken and pat dry.
- Mix 2 tablespoons rosewater with pinch of saffron and rub on chicken, inside and out.
- Set chicken on high rack in 350-degree oven.
- Put apricots in small saucepan, add water to cover apricots by ½ inch and stew until softened.
- Place one lavash in baking pan.
- Arrange stewed apricots on top, sprinkle with sugar and ¾ cup rosewater in which pinch of saffron has been dissolved, then cover with remaining lavash.
- When juices begin running from chicken, set baking pan under it to catch juices.
- When chicken is done, serve on apricot pudding.