I got a craving for roast chicken when I saw this recipe by the Detox Mama. It’s such a sweet, short story, and it got me a hankerin’ for whole, roasted, crispy-skinned, flavorful poultry. I don’t have a problem with soy, though, and I always have Tamari on hand, so I decided to take a different approach to the recipe, and infuse a few different flavors into the chicken, with both a sauce and from within. I did some googling for recipes, and ended up with all kinds of ideas. The only recipe I (mostly) stuck to was this one for Teriyaki Sauce, and from there I just let the creative juices flow (read: I used what I had on hand).
Also, I would like to take this moment to admit something: I have a grocery shopping problem. It doesn’t matter that I have a list; I can’t refrain from walking up and down every aisle. All I needed was a whole chicken (which happened to be on sale), but I came home with 2 giant shopping bags of food. Because, listen, there are always sales I just can’t resist. Like the chicken breasts that were insanely marked down (like I needed more chicken!), and the greek yogurts that were 10 for $10, and the frozen broccoli that was buy one get one free. But hey, what else are freezers for, right?
Ok, I feel better now, thanks for listening. 🙂
1 5.5-6 lb chicken
1/2 cup of tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
1/4 cup of water
2 tablespoons of dry sherry (or mirin, sweet rice wine, I just don’t have it)
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons of ginger powder
1/4 cup of peach, orange, or apricot jam (I used peach)
1/4 cup of orange juice
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 lemon half
1 orange half
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and chopped in half
2 tablespoons of butter, plus a little salt and ginger powder
5-6 carrots, peeled and whole (or squash, or any vegetable really)
The hardest part of this whole thing is really just cleaning and prepping the chicken.
You gotta pull out the guts and neck, trim off some fat, give ‘er a good wash, and then pat dry with a paper towel. And protect the chicken from your kitchen ninjas, of course.
(I ended up giving them the liver and heart and other such organs so they would leave me alone. They were both a little weirded out at first, and Chester kept looking up at Logan like, “Well, he hasn’t keeled over yet, I guess it’s not poisoned…” Then they napped for hours.)
Preheat the oven to 500 (you’re going to cook the chicken at a very high temperature for 15-20 minutes, and then lower it to 350 to cook the rest of the way, for extra crispy skin).
Teriyaki Sauce: In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the following: soy sauce, water, dry sherry, brown sugar, granulated sugar, garlic powder, ginger powder, peach jam, orange juice and olive oil. Stir until everything is well combined and smooth. Set aside to cool.
Butter Paste: Cream together with a fork in a small bowl the butter, a few dashes of salt, and a hefty sprinkling of ginger powder (this is for rubbing under the chicken skin).
On the belly of the chicken, above the cavity, you can see where the skin separates from the meat. Gently work your fingers in to create a space between the skin and the meat, and shove some butter in there. Then you can massage the skin on the outside to spread the butter around. Do the same for the legs, and just rub the chicken down with whatever you have leftover.
Stuff the chicken cavity with the lemon, orange, and garlic cloves, and tie together the legs with kitchen twine or wire. Place the carrots or other vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan, to set the chicken on top of so it’s belly (back, technically) doesn’t get too soggy and stuck in all the drippings.
Baste the chicken with about half of the Teriyaki sauce, reserving the rest to baste again halfway through the cooking process.
Do you have a meat thermometer? Preferably one that you can leave in the chicken with an external monitor. That’s really the best way to go here. My chicken cooked a total of 1 hour and 50 minutes to get it up to 155 degrees, with 20 minutes of sitting time encased in tin foil to bring it up to 160 degrees, but it really varies depending on your oven and the size of your chicken. If you want a perfectly roasted chicken, for optimal juiciness, I highly recommend a thermometer (whose probe you place in the inner thigh, careful to not hit any bone).
Well, that’s about it. Cook it at 500 for about 15 minutes, reduce it to 350 and cook until done. Halfway through re-baste with the remaining liquid, and then check again later to make sure your buddy isn’t burning (cover with tin foil if s/he is).
I chopped up the carrots and served with rice, and a little squeeze of the lemon from inside the chicken.
YUM. We ate chicken for days.
Need a dessert?
Or even if you don’t, please check out my entry into the Diced! Dessert Bracket Competition, I could really use your votes!!
And don’t forget to vote for my dessert recipe! 🙂