My co-worker ordered a few books for our Cancer Center library this week. One of them was a cookbook by Rebecca Katz entitled The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen.
It includes a recipe for a roasted chicken, flavored with orange juice, paprika and ginger. I had some tangerines that I wanted to use up, so with just a few tweaks, here’s my version of one of the ultimates in comfort foods – a roasted chicken.
1 4- to 5-lb chicken
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
3 mandarins, zested (for about 1 tsp of zest) and juiced, rind reserved
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 slender pieces of fresh peeled ginger, about 1″ in length
3 garlic cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat bottom of 9×13″ baking dish with olive oil. Pat chicken dry with paper towel and place breast side up in baking dish.
2. Blend the paprika and cinnamon together. Divide mixture in half, and stir salt into one half.
3. Rub the salted spice mixture all over the outside of the chicken.
4. Blend the unsalted spice mixture with the grated ginger and mandarin zest.
5. Gently lift the skin away from the breast; lightly massage the spice and zest mixture into the meat under the skin.
6. Place the ginger pieces, garlic, cinnamon sticks and mandarin rinds inside the cavity of the chicken, along with half the juice.
7. Place chicken in oven. Total roasting time will be approximately 1 hour. Every 20 minutes or so, baste with juices from pan and a few tablespoons at a time of the remaining mandarin juice.
8. Let chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.
Hubby and I were surprised that the ginger flavor dominated – to the point where we didn’t taste the cinnamon or paprika or garlic. But the bird was delicious and tender … and, of course, half the pleasure of a roasted chicken is the aroma that permeates the house as it roasts.
I boiled the carcass afterward, curious to discover if the unique blend of flavorings would make a good broth for soup. It did; oh yes, it did.