Friday, November 13, 2009

A Different Chicken - Sweet not Savory

I have had Mark Bittman's Bitten blog from the New York Times in my Reader for a long time now.  I like his writing style and am a regular reader.  One thing I am always checking out are the recipes, to see if anything looks good for both Mr. Gooch and myself since I am the picky eater in our duo (mushrooms, shellfish and tomato chunks are just a few of my "oh heck no" ingredients).

Most of the time, unfortunately, I have to take a pass on his recipes.  However, back on March 10, 2009, the Recipe of the Day "Roast Chicken With Cumin, Honey and Orange" seemed right up our alley.  Mr. Gooch loves honey, I love cumin and we both love orange juice.   Additionally, it looked like it had just the right combination of sweetness and heat to keep things interesting.  Yes, it has taken me months to get around to making this recipe.  Please don't ask me how many more recipes I have in my recipe queue.  It will just make me sad. 

Unfortunately, as written the recipe didn't quite live up to our expectations.  Don't get me wrong, the meat was moist and there was nice flavor.  However, it was just a bit too sweet for our taste.  I guess we have palates that like more savory dishes.  We do plan on trying this again, however, we are going to up the cumin and substitute some of the orange juice for other citrus (since they have a stronger/sharper flavor).  So all is not lost. 

We did not have the burning problem of the skin that the recipe alludes to, however, I did keep a very close eye on our bird and kept the roasting pan toward the front of the oven so that may have made the difference.  The skin just got a quite crispy in a few places on the legs.   Mr. Gooch liked those crispy bits so that was a success. 

We recommend this dish as written for those who like things on the sweet side, but if you like a more savory flavor, you may want to improvise a bit by adding some stonger flavors.

Roast Chicken With Cumin, Honey and Orange
(Source:  Mark Bittman's Blog Bitten on
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3-pound chicken, giblets and excess fat removed
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Use a nonstick roasting pan, or line a roasting pan with a double layer of aluminum foil.
Combine orange juice, honey, cumin, salt and pepper in bowl, and whisk until smooth.
Place chicken in pan, and spoon all but 1/4 cup of liquid over all of it.
Place basted chicken in oven, legs first, and roast for 10 minutes.
Spoon accumulated juices back over chicken, reverse pan back to front, and return to oven.
Repeat four times, basting every 10 minutes and switching pan position each time.
If chicken browns too quickly, lower heat a bit.
If juices dry up, use reserved liquid and 1 or 2 tablespoons of water or orange juice. 3.
After 50 minutes of roasting, insert an instant-read thermometer into a thigh; when it reads 155 to 165 degrees, remove chicken from oven, and baste one final time.
Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

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