In a 5-quart saucepan, brown both sides of the chicken in 1/2 cup canola oil. Once browned, add nutmeg, allspice, cumin powder, salt, saffron, cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds, and peppercorns.
Add approximately 5 cups of water to just cover the chicken and bring to a boil. Season with freshly ground pepper. Cover and simmer over low-medium heat for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the meat begins to pull away from the bone. When done, set the chicken aside and discard the broth.
Fry the cauliflower in a large pot with 3 cups of canola oil until golden brown. Remove and let drain on paper towels. Once that is done, repeat this process with the eggplant. (Note, do not rinse the salt off the eggplant the guest believes that it removes flavor.) Set both the fried cauliflower and eggplant aside. Heat 3 tablespoons of canola oil in the pot that previously contained the chicken. When the oil is hot, not smoking, add the feathered onions and cook until they sweat, about 10 minutes. Add the cooked chicken, bone and all; cook together for a few minutes then cover and let steep with the burner off for 15 minutes. During this time, rinse the rice about 5 or 6 times until the water runs clear. Put the rice in a bowl, stir the spices into the raw rice, and mix well. Add the fried eggplant and cauliflower to the chicken mixture and then put the seasoned rice on top. Pour water into the pot to just barely cover the rice. Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cover. Approximately 10 minutes later add a 1/4 cup of oil and re-cover. When the water is completely gone the dish is done, about 25 minutes or until rice is cooked.
Remove the pot from the heat and let rest for about 10 to 15 minutes. Place a large serving plate on top of the dish and flip the pot and plate over. Very carefully, lift the pot off the plate and the layered dish is done, add a little garnish and it is ready to serve. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
A viewer or guest of the show, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Sawsan Haddad