Smoky Sweet Orange Roast Chicken: Part Three

For the final Roast Chicken Week recipe, I have included a recipe that I saw in Food and Wine magazine by Maria Kiesel. I have adapted it slightly, based on what I normally cook with but the original recipe is totally worth checking out at  www.foodandwine.com This recipe is a little time-consuming and requires marinating overnight. As we all know, I always support easy over complicated, especially when it comes to food, because I am a huge believer that good ingredients shine on their own. Unless it’s a special dinner, you know the kind that requires lists; I usually try to shoot for less than an hour in the kitchen especially during the summer, when the food is so fresh you barely have to cook it!  I did try this recipe with a shorter marinating time (6 hours) and it wasn’t nearly as flavorful. So, I do recommend doing the overnight. This chicken comes out so smoky sweet. The smoky flavor from the cumin and the ancho chili powder strike an amazing balance with the orange juice and honey. It is what honey barbeque should taste like. I made this chicken 6 times in one month because I loved it so much. I even made it for a picnic and served it cold.

Smoky Sweet Orange Roast Chicken

Serves 4-6

1 4-6 pound roaster chicken

1 ½ bulbs of garlic peeled and halved

¼ cup sunflower oil (any vegetable oil will work)

2 cups fresh orange juice

¼ cup ancho chili powder

4 tablespoons hot paprika

4 teaspoons ground cumin

4 teaspoons coarse sea salt

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons amber honey

1 plastic bag large enough to hold the chicken and the marinade

In a food processor mince the garlic and vegetable oil. Once they are well blended add chili powder, paprika, salt and cumin. Now add the orange juice and blend until thoroughly mixed.

Love your chicken by washing it and patting it dry. Loosen the skin around the breasts and legs. Put the chicken in the plastic bag and pour the marinade over the chicken. Make sure to rub the marinade in the cavity and under the skin of the chicken. Close up the bag and place the chicken breast side up in the refrigerator and marinate over night.

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Take the chicken out of the bag and place it on your roasting rack in your roasting pan. Pour the marinade in the bag over the chicken and let the rest of it drip to the bottom of the pan. Add 1 cup of water to the pan. Bake for 45 minutes. Take ¼ cup of the pan juices add to ¼ honey in a bowl, mix until blended and pour over the chicken. Bake for another 30 minutes and repeat. Now, depending on the size of your chicken (7 minutes for every pound) bake for another 30 minutes and remove from oven. Drain the cavity juices into the pan and transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest.

Tilt the pan and spoon off any excess fat. Pour the juices into a saucepan, taste your pan juices, if it is sweet enough for your taste then leave it alone and season with salt. If you think it needs it, you can add two tablespoons honey to the pan juices, bring them to a boil, season with salt and serve with the chickens.

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