Hometown Pasadena welcomes back Michelle Calva-Despard from the blog Kickin’ It in the Kitchen. We are delighted to announce that she will be sharing her home-cooked, family-taste-tested recipes with HP readers the last Tuesday of every month. Heartfelt thanks, Michelle!
Citrus Roasted Chicken
1 whole chicken (I prefer organic)
2-3 garlic cloves
Wedge of onion
1 fresh orange (can substitute lemon)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup white wine (optional—so they tell me)
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper
Herbs (tarragon, thyme, herbes de Provençe—any will do)
Place whole chicken with the breast facing down (this is key) in a roasting pan. Take your orange and poke holes all around it with a knife tip. Then place garlic, onion, and citrus inside the cavity of your little birdy. Pour liquids over the top, olive oil last. Then add salt, pepper, and whatever green herbs you want on top.
Cook at 425º for 20 minutes, then lower heat to 325º. Cook approximately 20 minutes per pound (so, for a 5 pound chicken, cook an additional 1 hour 40 minutes) or until chicken is done. A meat thermometer should read 165º.
If the citrus is too big, you can cut off an end or cut it in half. Squeeze the rest of the juice over the meat and place remaining pieces in the roasting pan. If you are picky about presentation, you can flip the bird over (breast side up) for the last 20 minutes in the oven.
Save the carcass! I love to boil those bones down to make a soup stock, which can be frozen and turned into a yummy soup on another day.
Enjoy! By cooking the chicken breast side down, you have ensured the juiciest breast meat you’ve ever tasted. No lie. By splashing some white wine on top, you’ve ensured that the bottle has been opened. Don’t waste it!
Variation for “Margarita Chicken”: delete the herbs. Use a lime (or two) instead of an orange, and substitute tequila for the white wine. Now, of course, you’ve opened a bottle of tequila…
Coming in March: a simple, tasty, nutritious and (most importantly) delicious recipe for leftover chicken.
Michelle can be found at her blog Kickin’ It in the Kitchen. Besides recipes and a good sense of humor, she also offers workshops on meal planning, and ones titled “Welcome to the Table, Little One,” “Thinking Outside of Lunch Box,” “Homemade Baby Food,” and the tantalizing “Scrounge.”