Saturday, March 4, 2017

Fragrant Roast Chicken

The special spices used to flavour this roast chicken are selected for fragrance and taste, to open the appetite, to aid digestion and be soothing on the stomach. It was specially created for persons who may be sensitive to strong seasonings like pepper, onion and garlic. The basic overnight marination applies, though you can get away with marinating for just a few hours. As always, preparation is as important as cooking.

Roasting slow and low keeps the meat moist and juicy; basting with the pan juices gives the golden colour.

Whole chicken, about 3-4 lbs, cut in halves down the back and breast bones
Salt, 2 heaping teaspoons

Spice rub:
Whole geera (cumin), heaping teaspoon
Coriander, teaspoon
Star anise, 2 or 3 whole flowers
Ginger, piece the size of the thumb, chopped
Brown sugar, 3-4 heaping teaspoons
Soy sauce, 2-3 teaspoons

Clean chicken and split in two. Rub with salt, cover and refrigerate overnight (or about 3-4 hours).

In the morning, grind spices (geera, coriander, star anise, ginger). I use a coffee grinder.
Mix the ground spices with sugar and soy sauce.

Drain the chicken from any bloody water that may have accumulated. Put some spice rub under the skin between thigh and breast. Put some on the inside cavity. Rub all over the skin on wings and legs.
Allow to marinate for at least 2-3 hours.

Heat oven to 330 to 340F. Slow and low is one way to achieve moist chicken whose juices mingle well with your marinade.

Place chicken halves in a baking dish and pour any seasonings over the skin. Bake for 2 to 3 hours in all. After the first hour, pour off the juices and use to baste the chicken. Do this every half hour for the 2-3 hours of cooking.

Cool before cutting the chicken. Serve with mashed potatoes or white rice and a simple salad.

Serve pan juices on the side, so they can be used with mashed potatoes or white rice.

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