Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Chicken

Spring. I so look forward to Spring. It is my favorite season. I love the promise that it holds for a glorious summer. Flowers are blooming, the grass is turning greener, and we get to enjoy so much more sunshine in our day. This also means that sandal weather is here. So, as I was contemplating the color of the nail polish to paint my toes, Mother Nature tossed me a surprise. Bare toes - no, no, no. I had to grab socks and throw on a sweater. Shows what I know... It's cold here!

Nothing is worse than being teased with sunny warm days and then have to regroup with coats and comforters. So on this unusually cold day, I felt the overwhelming urge to have something roasting in the oven. I wanted a warm oven to help heat the house. I wanted to have delicious smells emanate from the oven and fill the house with a toasty warmth. Not to succumb to the pressures of a chilly day, I decided to add a little zest to the dish. The smells of freshly cut lemons and oranges certainly brightened up the day. Mother Nature, beware, I still have summer in my sights!

Garlic Citrus Chicken was the perfect dish to roast. First of all, it is super simple. It's as simple as quartering some fresh citrus, stuffing it into the chicken, roasting, and basting with a yummy citrus marinade. The fresh fruit gives the chicken a very bright flavor. When the chicken comes out of the oven, it is so moist and juicy. It was the perfect comfort food, and it really hit the spot. Brown rice with dried apricots and garlic sauteed spinach with pancetta rounded out supper. It was fantastic.

Garlic and Citrus Chicken
adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

1 (5 to 6-pound) whole roasting chicken, neck and giblets discarded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 orange, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
1 head garlic, halved crosswise, plus 3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 (14-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
Kitchen string or butcher twine

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F.
Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper. Stuff the cavity with the orange, lemon, and garlic halves. Tie the chicken legs together with kitchen string to help hold its shape. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.
Place a rack in a large roasting pan. Place the chicken, breast side up, on the rack in the pan. Roast the chicken for 1 hour, basting occasionally and adding some chicken broth to the pan, if necessary, to prevent the pan drippings from burning.

Whisk the orange juice, lemon juice, oil, oregano, and chopped garlic in a medium bowl to blend. Brush some of the juice mixture over the chicken, after it has baked 1hour. Continue roasting the chicken until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the innermost part of the thigh registers 170 degrees F, basting occasionally with the juice mixture and adding broth to the pan, about 45 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Tent with foil while making the sauce (do not clean the pan).

Place the same roasting pan over medium-low heat. Whisk in any remaining broth and simmer until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Strain into a 2-cup glass measuring cup and discard the solids. Spoon the fat from the top of the sauce. Serve the chicken with the pan sauce.

1 comment:

Lina said...

looks like a very healthy meal!