I can hear fall coming. No doubt that is because of the leaves falling from the trees because of the drought. But I am ready for cozy fall days when it is cold enough outside to make me want to take refuge in the warm house. I love those windy, cloudy days when there is a nip in the air and the summer humidity is a distant memory. And I love the dinners I make on those days – roasted chicken, baked potatoes, casseroles, winter squash. I am looking forward to days when the heat of the oven is a welcome addition to the furnace, instead of a burden to the air-conditioner.
I came up with Citrus Roasted Chicken after trying a recipe for citrus chicken that called for freshly squeezed orange juice. It was ho-hum and not memorable at all. I decided if I was going to make citrus chicken, I would make citrus chicken. I used the zest and juice from an orange, a lime and a lemon. It came out tart, bright and bold.
Citrus Roasted Chicken is the perfect bridge between the seasons. It has the citrus tang that is in so many summer dishes, along with the moist richness of roasted meat. Since it isn’t quite fall yet, even though the temperatures are moderating a bit, I like to cook my whole dinner in the oven to maximize both my efficiency and the oven’s. Baked potatoes or a rice casserole go well with the chicken. Throw a few sweet potatoes in the oven and you can take care of a vegetable too.
What do you look forward to cooking when the weather cools down?
Citrus Roasted Chicken
From The Cook’s Life
1-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
3-4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a dish or pan large enough to hold the chicken in one layer, with a little room between the breasts. Set aside.
Zest the orange, lemon and lime with a microplane grater and set zest aside. Juice the citrus fruit into a separate bowl and set aside.
Begin chopping the garlic. When you have the garlic finely chopped, sprinkle it with a little salt and continue chopping. Use the side of the knife to mash and smear the garlic and salt into the cutting board. Repeat chopping and mashing until you have a garlic paste.
Combine garlic paste with citrus zest and a few grinds of black pepper.
Gently loosen the skin on the chicken breasts, running your fingers between the skin and the meat. Divide the paste evenly between the breasts, spreading it on the meat, under the skin. Reposition the skin, if necessary, to cover each breast. Place chicken in the prepared dish or pan. Pour the reserved citrus juice over the breasts.
Roast chicken for about an hour, or until skin is browned and juices run clear when pricked with a fork or knife. Let chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.