Apr 13, 2010
For my first foray in to The Naked Chef I turned to this lovely recipe. Though the original recipe called for guinea fowl, I decided to use a more easily found bird on this side of the pond, chicken. Also, by making up a whole 5 pound chicken I easily had enough for leftovers of the original recipe for two of us, and we used the rest of the meat in chicken tacos later in the week.
What originally caught my eye about this recipe was the blood oranges. Though spring vegetables and fruit are becoming more readily found out here on the West coast, I know for most folks in the northern hemisphere citrus and root veggies are still most prevalent in the markets. The blood oranges become the base of the stuffing and gravy, making the whole dish full of citrus flavors and the chicken super moist. We spooned it over orzo the first night and quinoa the second to make a lovely 2-pot meal.
Roasted Chicken with Sage, Celery and Blood Orange
adapted from The Naked Chef
one 5 lb chicken
6 blood oranges
1 cup chopped celery
1 small handful of fresh thyme*
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cloves of garlic, whole and unpeeled
6 tablespoons butter
10 fresh sage leaves
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove anything inside the cavity of the chicken. Wash thoroughly inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the cavity with a little salt and rub the outside with salt and pepper. Let the chicken rest while you are preparing the stuffing.
Cut off the ends of the oranges. Stand them on one end and carefully slice off the peel (as close to where the flesh meets the skin as possible). Then slice the oranges into rounds. Combine the orange rounds, chopped celery, thyme, and small pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl and toss. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with this filling, and with any excess stuff underneath the skin (right next to the breast). Pull the drumsticks together at the base of the bird and tightly tie up with cooking string.
Heat a thick-bottomed pan and add the olive oil and the chicken. Cook until lightly golden on all sides, then add the garlic, butter and sage and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. Add the wine in intervals, keeping the pan moist at all times. Place in the oven for 45-55 minutes, checking every 10-15 minutes to top up the wine as necessary. If the top starts getting to dark, place a tented piece of foil over the bird to slow the cooking process of the top outside skin. The chicken will be roasted and partially steamed.
When cooked (I double tested mine with a meat thermometer), carefully remove from the oven and place upside down on a dish, allowing all the juices and moisture to relax back into the breast for several minutes while you make the gravy.
To make the gravy, first discard the excess fat from the pan and place the pan over gentle heat. Scoop out the stuffing from the cavity of the chicken and add to the pan with about 2/3 cup of wine. As the wine boils stir lightly until the liquid has dissolved. Squash the cooked garlic out of the skins with a spoon (capturing and discarding the skins), and pour any of the juices from the plate that the bird is resting on into the gravy. Simmer and season to taste.
Serve carved chicken on a bed of grains (such as orzo), and pour gravy over the dish.
Stats: Serves 4, with leftovers
Time: About 1.5 hours from start to finish
Seasonal Ingredients: Blood oranges and celery from the farmers' market, local organic chicken
*Be sure to pick the small leaves off the tougher stalks of the thyme, or pull out the sprigs of thyme before making the gravy. I didn't do this and wish I had. The flavor is fine, but when we were eating the chicken we had to pull out the thyme and it would have been more enjoyable to not worry about it.