How many ways are there, really, to roast a chicken? I have known the basics of turning out a tender, succulent bird that fills the whole house with the warm-fuzzy aromas of classic comfort food forever and a day, so when I saw Martha Stewart Living magazine tout “The New Roast Chicken” in a January, 2011 cover story, I was skeptical.
The recipe selections run the gamut, from Paprika-Rubbed with Roasted Garlic and Crisp-Skinned with Rosemary Potatoes, to Garlic-Butter Rubbed with Roasted Oranges and Red Onions, Beer-Can Roasted with Fig-Jam Pan Sauce, Tandoori-Marinated with Cucumber, Lime, and Chiles, and Inside-Out “Stuffed” with Mushroom Dressing.
I decided to give the Garlic-Butter Rubbed with Roasted Oranges and Red Onions a try. We pick up a rotisserie chicken from the local supermarket from time to time, and they will do in a pinch. We also cook individual boned chicken breasts sometimes. If you’ve ever eaten a home-roasted chicken, redolent with whatever batch of fresh ingredients you rub, slather or baste onto it, or shove into it, you’ll be forever disappointed with any other cooked chicken (home-grilled excepted).
Before roasting the chicken, (a Greenwise, from Publix), I massaged butter, crushed garlic and fresh chopped thyme leaves onto the breasts, underneath the fragile skin. Wedges of red onion, navel orange and thyme still on the stem went into the cavity. More onion and orange wedges were spread around the chicken in the pan, and it went into the oven.
The caramelized onion and orange were fantastic. They looked awful, but tasted great.
I wouldn’t say this method of roasting a chicken is new under the sun, but it sure was good. I think I’ll try the Beer-Can Roasted with Fig-Jam Pan Sauce next.