We look forward to it and all the good things that come from leftovers, including healthy, flavorful, homemade chicken stock. And soup.
Over the last few months, most often we’ve had herbed chicken, sweet spice chicken (see Sweet Spice Chicken Rub), and sweet and savory chicken.
With the warmth of Summer coming in, our taste buds are looking for something fresh.
Enter Southwestern Chicken!
It Is Goo-oo-ood!
What’s in it …
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 pablano pepper, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt (I use Aztec Sea Salt or Celtic Sea Salt, grey)
1 teaspoon mixed peppercorns, freshly ground
1 teaspoon chili powder (see my Chili Powder Blend)
4 lb. whole organic chicken
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 Tablespoons chili sauce (see my Homemade Chili Sauce)
How to pull it together …
Preheat the oven to 400º F.
On the bottom of your roasting pan, scatter about half of the chopped onion, bell pepper, poblano pepper and garlic. This creates a delicious buffer between your chicken and direct heat from the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the vegetables with a little salt, pepper and a pinch of chili powder.
Rub the chicken all over with oil and place onto the vegetables. Plunk about 3 to 4 generous spoonsful of chili sauce on top. Schmear around the top and sides of your bird making sure to get into the creases around legs and wings. Sprinkle the top and sides of the bird with salt, pepper and a bit of chili powder. Spoon the remaining chopped vegetables in, on and around the bird.
Truss the legs and pop into the preheated oven. Set the time for 1 hour and go do something else.
Check about halfway through to make sure the sauced skin isn’t blackening. If it’s getting too dark, cover the bird loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil and continue roasting.
After 1 hour, use a food thermometer (I like this one) to check the internal temperature of the chicken thigh; nearest the breast; without hitting any bone. You want it to read about 165º F. If the temp is still a little low, continue to roast for another 10 to 15 minutes and test again. Once it reads 165º F, it’s ready to take out of the oven, cover loosely with a piece of foil with a few slits in it (to allow steam to escape and keep the skin crispy). While it sits for about 15 minutes, the temperature will go up about 5 more degrees. The thighs, which take the longest of the whole bird to cook through, will continue to cook (this is a good thing.)
You can see in the photos that I forgot to truss this bird. (It was still delicious. Things turn out more evenly cooked when you truss, but don’t worry if you forget.) I love Mad Genius Tips at Food & Wine. Check out how he (and now I) trusses a bird without string!
Carve and serve topped with the pan vegetables and a little chili sauce on the side if desired.
If you feel like sharing one of your favorite chicken recipes in the comments below, please do! There’s nothing like a comfy chicken dinner, is there?