Friday, December 26, 2008
Orange Balsamic Chicken
We're not fancy schmancy people so no goose or duck for our Christmas feast just basic everyday chicken for us, please. Well, not everyday chicken, this chicken was truly tasty and a surprise to every one's taste buds.
I've been watching more TV than normal (normally I watch none) since I have hours each day to sit around and nurse my new baby. So I turn on the TV to entertain myself while I'm forced to sit still for so long. I'm not normally a Rachel Ray fan and avoid watching the show, but on Christmas Eve I was positioned in a manner that I could not reach the remote without disturbing the nursing baby....so I suffered through. Turns out I found this lovely recipe while being tortured...er, forced....er, stuck watching Rachel Ray.
Here is the original recipe for Orange Balsamic Rock Cornish Game Hens but I altered it a bit and here's my version:
1 cup orange juice concentrate
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp grated orange zest
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and cracked whole cloves
1 whole chicken, butterflied
1 oven stuffer roaster (see note below)
I mixed all ingredients, except the chickens, in a bowl and then poured the mix over the chickens in a plastic bag. I marinaded the chickens overnight, then butterflied the whole chicken and placed on baking racks over sheet pans. Sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
I baked on 425 for 15 minutes then reduced to 375 until chickens were done according to my thermometer.
So here are my notes:
The oven stuffer roaster appeared to be really large bone-in breasts, I believe it probably had some sort of salt solution injected into it to create moister chicken...not my favorite choice in chicken, but it was what I had in the freezer and I was too sick to head to the grocery on Christmas Eve to get anything different.
To butterfly a chicken, use kitchen shears and cut right up the back of the chicken then flip it over, press lightly on the breast bone to flatten and tuck the wings back to secure them.
Use aluminum foil to line your sheet pan, this sauce is sticky and I may end up throwing away one of my pans rather than continuing to try to scrap and soak it. When I turned the heat of the oven down after 15 minutes, I transferred the chickens to a new pan because the drippings had burnt so severely in the first pan after only 15 minutes. In the new pan, I added all the marinade over the chicken and let it pool in the bottom of the pan. Once the chicken was done, I poured the drippings into a sauce pan and reduced to make a sauce. My brother-in-law really liked the strong flavor of the sauce whereas I found the balsamic too overpowering in the sauce. If I had felt better, I would have doctored the sauce with some honey to sweeten it or maybe even more orange juice concentrate and orange zest to bring out the orange flavor that was sort of lost in the balsamic.
My husband, who won't eat chicken breast because it's dry, found the marinade kept the breast very moist and he really enjoyed the flavor of the chicken...he nibbled a lot as he was cutting up the chicken breast :) I used the chicken on a salad and found the meat to be moist and flavorful without being too overpowering.