Friday, November 6, 2009

Orange Roasted Chicken

A number of ladies who attended Ladies' Latte last night requested the Orange Roasted Chicken recipe...Here it is! Enjoy!

This week’s recipe uses a meat thermometer, citrus zester, and an oven roasting bag. You may never have used a meat thermometer, but I always use mine to make sure meats are cooked to the proper internal temperature. Most models even have the temperatures and different meats listed on the thermometer, so they are quite user-friendly. A citrus zester is a small tool that you lightly drag across the peel of citrus fruits to shave off that wonderfully fragrant and tasty zest. You could also use a microplane by grating the fruit across the edge as you would a cheese grater. Oven roasting bags trap steam which keeps the meat moist and tender. Of course, you can use a roasting pan and cover with aluminum foil, but roasting bags make clean-up quick and easy. If you use a roasting pan, you will need to baste the chicken half-way through baking.
I ALWAYS bake a larger chicken than we will eat in one sitting. I do this so that I will have about 2 cups of cooked chicken left over. I will turn that flavorful chicken into another dish later in the week. And, I NEVER discard the cooking liquid. After it cools, I pour it through a sieve and then into ice cube trays or small plastic baby food containers with lids. Then, I freeze this perfectly seasoned broth to use later when cooking rice, or I add it to mashed potatoes, soups, pastas, etc.
While this chicken is roasting, place a few sweet potatoes in the oven, too, for about 45 minutes to one hour. Just place them on the oven rack and they will bake just fine. To serve, split the sweet potatoes lengthwise and top with a pat of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar. Perfect and simple side dish for this citrus-infused chicken!

Orange Roasted Chicken
4-5 lb. Roaster chicken
2 oranges
4-6 garlic cloves, sliced
1 sweet onion, quartered
4 T. olive oil, divided
1/4 c. orange juice
1 T. Orange zest (from one of the oranges)
1 t. salt
½ t. garlic powder
½ t. onion powder
½ t. paprika
½ t. black pepper

Wash roaster inside and out, and pat dry. Zest one orange and then cut it into quarters. Slice other orange into 1/4-inch slices. Coat cavity with 1-2 T. Olive oil and stuff with orange quarters, onion quarters, and some garlic slices. Stuff orange slices and garlic slices under loosened skin covering the breasts and thighs. Mix remaining olive oil, orange juice, orange zest, and next 5 ingredients and set aside. Place stuffed roaster in oven roasting bag and follow instructions on package. Also place in roasting bag any remaining orange slices or garlic slices. Pour orange juice mixture over stuffed roaster. Tie bag and place in pan, as per instructions on package. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 1 hour and 45 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh reads 180 degrees . Let chicken stand 5 minutes before carving.

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