Saturday, November 15, 2014

Mahogany Chicken

Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days. – Doug Larson

Posing for the camera, or so it seems...

A little nostalgia for you all this morning. I’ll give you a hint before you hit the link:
Do you know, where you're going to?
Do you like the things, that life is showing you?
Where are you going to? Do you know?

Something beautiful for your day, from the 1975 movie Mahogany. It was nominated for the Oscar for best original song. Sung by a beautiful and undeniably talented lady.

After marinating in the refrigerator for 8 hours.
Cooler weather always makes a little nostalgia well up in me. I guess it’s the recognition that the autumn season is closing, and time is marching forward. Today was the first “real” day when it’s undeniable that winter is on the way. Snow in some areas of our province, and ice in Halifax.

So the time for garden greens and fresh tastes has most definitely passed, to be replaced by roasts, braises, soups and stews, and food that warms the bones. A warm oven makes the kitchen an inviting place to be on a cold afternoon.

The inspiration for this recipe was most certainly not the movie. The very un-profound answer was because I found chickens on sale, and I was taking a client run into the city. So anything to speed up dinner without sacrificing flavour was the way to go.

The skin on this quick-roast chicken does remind me of mahogany. When thinking up a name, that’s what I thought and then the movie, and it’s theme song, came to mind. So there you have it.

The song, and chicken, both suit a reflective mood. Next time you find chicken that’s affordable you should give this recipe a try.  I served it with spaghetti squash (done in the microwave) sprinkled with parmesan, salt and pepper, and dotted with butter.

I didn’t list dried herb quantities, because if using dried there's no piles of herbs to roast the chicken on, which imparts flavour. You can try a substitution if you wish. Rule of thumb is 1 tbsp chopped fresh herb equals 1 tsp dried.

There's a whole "half" because our chicken was small.
Don't judge me!!!
Mahogany Chicken
Prep: 1-8 hours  |  Roast: 40-45 min  |  Serves 4
2 to 2.5 kg chicken
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
6 lg garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
12 sage leaves, whole
8 sprigs fresh thyme
8 sprigs fresh oregano
salt and pepper
drizzle of olive oil

Remove the chicken backbone with kitchen shears. Then cut down evenly through the breast bone to divide the chicken in two equal halves. This is easiest done from the bone side.

Mix together the balsamic, honey and soy in a bowl. Place chicken, herbs and garlic in a zip lock bag. Pour the marinade in. Rub to cover all surfaces of the meat, and marinade in refrigerator for 1 hour on the counter, or all day while at work (8 hrs).

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Cover a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Drain the marinade from the chicken, reserving herbs and garlic. Arrange the herbs and garlic in 2 areas on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil.

Place each half of the chicken on one of the piles of herbs. Tuck the tips in under the wing so they’re not sticking up while roasting. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper.

Roast for 15 minutes at 425°, reduce the heat to 350° and roast for a further 20-35 minutes, or until temperature in thigh and breast reads 165°F. The skin will become a beautiful mahogany colour.

To serve 4, cut each chicken half between the breast and thigh. If using a small chicken, serve a half per person. Under 2 lbs, you will need to shorten your roasting time as well.


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1 comment:

  1. this looks so good! thanks for another recipe. we have had snow on and off here too but it's not sticking.