Monday, December 21, 2009

Mexican Roast Chicken

With all the holiday baking and sewing and knitting I've been doing, I haven't been spending much time planning our family dinners. So Saturday we were at Walmart and I remembered a turkey breast I had in our freezer and thought for Sunday dinner we could have turkey sandwiches. I grabbed all the stuff we'd need for dinner and late last night as we were watching "Home Alone," I remembered I had better go take the turkey out so it would have time to thaw. Turns out it was just turkey deli meat in the freezer. Oops. So I had to come up with something I could make with the ingredients we had on hand. I found a frozen whole chicken and thought we might as well roast it. It's one of my favorite Sunday meals anyway. Plus it gave me something to daydream about as I drifted off to sleep since I didn't have any fresh rosemary or thyme, which is what I typically use to flavor the bird. So I started thinking about a Mexican-inspired roast chicken. I wasn't sure I'd be able to find a recipe, so I thought I'd just make a rub for the chicken with Mexican spices and stuff the cavity with some cilantro, garlic, and limes. I'm sure that would have tasted okay, but luckily I didn't have to come up with my own recipe- I found these instead. The potatoes were a lovely accompaniment.

Oh, and I'm pretty certain any recipe that tells you to "rub the chicken liberally with salt" is not considered low-sodium. So my ring finger may be paying for this tomorrow. It's okay. Worth it.

Mexican Fusion Roasted Chicken
recipes from

1 3-4lbs whole young chicken, neck and giblets saved for another purpose
1/2 cup cilantro/parsley pesto (recipe follows)
1 lime, zest and juice for the marinade, leftover lime halves for the cavity
2 tbsp minced garlic
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

In a large ziploc bag or mixing bowl combine the pesto, lime juice and zest, and garlic. Mix until thoroughly blended. Rinse the whole chicken, inside and out, under cold water then pat dry with paper towels. Add the chicken to the ziploc bag with the marinade. Rub the marinade both under and on top of the skin of the chicken, making sure to get a good coat of the marinade inside the cavity as well. Allow the chicken to marinate for 1 hour. While the chicken is marinating, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the chicken from the marinade after one hour then rub the chicken liberally with kosher salt and black pepper - again both under and on top of the skin, as well as inside the cavity. Stuff the leftover lime halves into the cavity of the chicken then place it on to a roasting pan, breast-side down. Place the roasting pan into a preheated 450 degree oven. Roast the chicken at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Continue roasting the chicken at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until an thermometer inserted into the fleshy part of the thigh reads 170 degrees. Times will vary depending on the weight of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the oven. Loosely cover the chicken with aluminum foil and allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. This chicken goes great served with extra cilantro/parsley pesto as a sauce. Enjoy!

Cilantro/Parsley Pesto

2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
juice and zest from 1 lime
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
1/2 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Add the garlic cloves and pine nuts to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the garlic and pine nuts until they are thoroughly minced. Add the cilantro, parsley, lime juice and zest, red wine vinegar, cumin seeds, chile powder, and red pepper flakes to the bowl of the processor. Turn the processor on low. Allow it to run for several seconds before slowly drizzling in enough olive oil while the food processor is running to create a nicely viscous pesto. After all of the olive oil has been added, season the pesto with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.

Mexican Roasted Potatoes- from The Nourishing Gourmet

8 medium potatoes, peeled and dice
1/3 cup of olive oil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (plus more to sprinkle on top)
freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 tablespoon Dijon style mustard

1 lime, juiced (or more to taste)

1-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2-Combine all of the ingredients, except the potatoes and lime in a jar and shake to thoroughly mix ingredients (or whisk in a bowl).

3-Pour your diced potatoes into a jelly roll pan, and toss with the oil mixture. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper.

4-Roast for about 40 minutes, until the potatoes are well cooked, and browning on the edges. Take out of the oven, and sprinkle the juice of one lime over it. Taste test, and add more lime juice or salt, if needed and serve.


Tea Time Consultants said...

Looks great! I am also from Missouri. Grew up in KC, graduated from Oak Park. Keep up the busy kitchen.

Come by for a visit sometime:

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