Chicken Experiment

ImageI’m hosting Thanksgiving this year for the first time at my house and how I got my family to agree to such a thing is beyond me!  My goal is to try out each of my recipes beforehand, so I can pretend like I know what I’m doing, and everything will be gluten free and dairy free, if possible, so each person can enjoy everything.  So I started with the turkey but I sure as heck didn’t want to cook up a whole turkey for just me and my hubby so I tried it out on this unsuspecting chicken. I discovered this recipe, which sounded good:  ://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/garlic_lemon_roast_turkey.html

I love miso even though I’m not supposed to eat soy so, to account for this, I bought a red miso sauce that was a mixture of ingredients instead of full on miso.  I’ve used it before and it doesn’t aggravate any of my lovely diseases!  This turkey recipe was much too complicated for me so simplified it, though I did have to Google how to roast a chicken!

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (mine was 3.5 pounds which was perfect for two people with just a little bit leftover)

1 lemon

1 head of garlic – roasted

1/2 cup red miso sauce – I purchased a combo teriyaki/miso with medium hotness for a little kick – I’m sure a bbq sauce or something of the like would also make for a good, juicy chicken

1 tbs French thyme (regular is okay)

1/2 yellow onion – chopped to desired size

pepper as desired

Preparation:

I started out by roasting my garlic, which I do in a terracotta garlic roaster – but you can also just wrap it up in foil.  Cut off the top, exposing each clove just a little bit before wrapping it up or using a roaster.  My roaster requires a 450 degree oven, and I roast one head for 35 to 40 minutes, or until it’s soft enough to squeeze the cloves out.  This same temp and time should work also for a foil wrapped garlic head.

While the garlic roasted and made the house smell yummy, I rinsed off my bird, patted it dry and cleaned out the inside of any unwanted bits.  The drier the skin, the crispier it is, or so I’ve heard, so I made sure mine was super dry since I love crispy skin.  I let it sit around while I prepared my sauce.

I zested then juiced my lemon into a little bowl, added the miso and thyme.  Save the lemon rinds to stuff into the chicken.  Whisk up the ingredients with a fork and add some pepper, if desired.  I think next time I would add some more sauce, to make it spicier, but a 1/2 cup was a good start.  Carefully loosen the skin from the chicken and pour the sauce under it, rubbing it in to every crevice.  I found that the meat where the wings and legs attach had the most flavor, as that’s where the sauce tended to pool.  Once the garlic is done cooking, squeeze it out and rub it under the skin as well.  Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemon rinds and the onion and close her on up.  Tie the legs together, if desired.  I then sprinkled pepper on the skin.

With my over at 350 now, I placed my chicken on a rack over a baking sheet covered in foil, for a quicker clean up.  According to what I found via Google, the chicken should roast 20 minutes per pound – mine was 3.5 pounds so, after finding a calculator to do some math (yes, my math skills are that pathetic), it cooked for 1 hour.  Then Google let me know that I should add 10 extra minutes on top of the per pound cook time, so I did that too. The apparent rule of thumb for chicken roasting is to add 10 minutes to however long you’re cooking for.  So 1 hour and 10 minutes later, I had a crispy skinned chicken!  I let it sit for another 10 minutes before plating it up.  (I also had a random Anaheim chili and some leftover onion that I tossed on the pan at the 30 minutes mark, just for the heck of it.)  I mostly finished off my bottle of sweet red with this dish, but a nice pinot noir or a zin would pair well.  If you’re a white wine drinker, something fruity like a viognier.

The chicken was super juicy and while not all of it had that spicy miso teriyaki flavor, the places where the sauce pooled were great!  It was still a very yummy chicken and I think it will make for a very yummy turkey.  I have also heard you can order gluten free turkeys at Whole Foods, to which I say I had no idea that turkeys not labeled gluten free were not gluten free already!  Either way, I hope my turkey is as sexy as my chicken turned out to be!

On another note, just a tip if onions happen to be one of your ‘trigger’ foods, try a shallot.  They’re just as delicious, if not more so!

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