Saturday, May 28, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
If, when you think of Jewish food, you think of the subtle comfort food of Ashkenazic Jews from Middle and Eastern Europe - matzo ball soup, latkes, brisket - give this recipe a try. It's equally simple and homey, but the flavors are bright and exotic. Try this chicken with a baked rice dish with almonds and raisins, and a light mesclun salad with a lemon and orange juice vinaigrette.
For 1 small roasting chicken, serving 3-4, you will need:
1 whole chicken, about 4 pounds, rinsed and patted dry with paper towels. (If you want to use a larger chicken, just lengthen the cooking time.)
1 lemon, zested with a microplane grater, then cut into quarters
1 orange, zested with a microplane, then cut into eighths
3 inches peeled fresh ginger root, grated on a microplane, about 3 tablespoons. (You may have better luck with a slightly coarse grater because ginger is so fibrous.)
5 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (Strain out the pulp for better browning of your bird.)
3 tablespoons honey
Preheat oven to 425° F.
Mix together the lemon and orange zests and 1/3 (about 1 tablespoon) of the grated ginger with black pepper to taste and about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Rub this mixture all throughout the inside cavity of the chicken, then stuff in as many orange and lemon wedges as will fit. I use trussing pins to close the skin over the body and neck openings, and kitchen twine to tie the legs together. I also fold the wing joints under the body of the chicken so that they have less of a tendency to overcook. (See how-to here.) Salt and pepper the outside of the chicken and place in a roasting pan on a rack. Roast for 15 minutes at 425° F.
Meanwhile, mix together the orange and lemon juices, the honey, the olive oil, and the remaining ginger. After the chicken has roasted for 15 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 350° F and baste the chicken with the juice mixture. Continue to baste every 15 minutes or so, until the chicken is golden brown (the honey may create some very dark color on the legs - delicious!) and the chicken juices run clear when poked with a knife at the leg joint. This should take about 1 hour, though you may need more time if you leave the oven door open for awhile while basting. If you prefer to take your chicken's temperature, it should read 165° F when tested at the inner thigh.
Garnish with more lemon and orange wedges and parsley or chives.