Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Honey Herb Roasted Chicken

Ok, so this recipe is admittedly a more labor intensive way to roast a chicken than I general advocate.  You roast it for half the time breast-side-down so that all the flavor and juices permeate the white meat of the breast.  Then you flip the chicken and continue to cook breast-side-up for the rest of the roasting process.  The breast-side-down technique has the advantages that I mentioned above, but is frowned upon by some people because, while the breast meat is juicy and flavorful, this method smushes the breasts and makes the final appearance of the chicken less impressive.  This half and half method addresses both issues for a really delicious and beautiful bird.  Since it takes a while, this isn't an everyday weeknight kind of recipe.  It makes for a special, but inexpensive Sunday or Friday night dinner.
Honey Herb Roasted Chicken (Adapted from The Shiksa in the Kitchen)
1 whole chicken (4-5 lbs.)
3 garlic cloves
1 large onion
3 fresh rosemary and thyme sprigs
salt and pepper
Basting Liquid
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. orange juice
Pan Gravy
1/2 cup white wine
3 Tbs. orange juice
2 Tbs. honey

1.  Wash and pat dry your chicken, chop the onion into large pieces, and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Whisk together olive oil, 1 Tbsp.  honey, and 1 Tbs. orange juice to make the basting liquid.
3.  Sprinkle salt and pepper inside the cavity of the chicken and 2 sprigs each fresh rosemary and thyme, garlic cloves, and some pieces of onion into the chicken.  You want to leave space in the cavity for ait to circulate, so do not stuff it completely full.
5.  Tie the legs together with twine (this is an optional, and easy step that helps cook the chicken evenly) and sprinkle the outside of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper.
6.  Line your roasting pan with foil. Spread the rest of your onion and herbs in the bottom of the pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.
7.  Place the chicken breast side down onto the bed of onions. Pour half of the basting mixture over the chicken, using a brush to coat it evenly.
8.  Cover the roasting pan with foil and pierce a few small vents into the outer edges of the foil with a knife.
9.  Roast for 45 minutes.
10.  Remove from the oven and carefully remove the foil.  Flip the chicken to breast side up. Brush the rest of the basting mixture evenly onto the top of the chicken.
11.  Cover the roasting pan again with the vented foil. Place back into the oven for 45 minutes longer.
12.  Remove from the oven, remove the foil completely, and return the chicken to the oven.  Reduce the heat to 375 degrees and roast for another 20 minutes until the skin is brown and crisp.
Watch the chicken carefully, as it can go from brown to black very quickly.
13.  Remove chicken from the roasting pan to a cutting board and cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes. 
14.  To make gravy, strain the pan drippings from the roasting pan into a small saucepan, let the dripping settle and skim off the fat.
15.  Add ½ cup of white wine, ¼ cup of chicken broth, and 2 tbsp of honey to the pan. Whisk to blend. 16.  Heat the sauce over medium to a light boil and let it simmer for about 2 minutes, whisking constantly. Remove the honey sauce from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
17.  Carve the chicken. Drizzled each serving of meat with some of the honey sauce.

One Year Ago: Fried Green Tomatoes
Two Years Ago: Cornbread Stuffing with Leeks and Mushrooms

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