Friday, March 12, 2010

Learning Italian and Orange Roasted Chicken

I have been sick for going on three days now.

A good old fashioned head cold has taken grip of my body and won't let go. I have had no energy, no appetite and no will to do anything other than lay on the coach with a hot cup of tea and listen to my Rosetta Stone for Italian CDs.

In 72 hours I have learned that I am:

Soffro come un cane. (sohf-froh coh-may oon cah-nay)

Sick as a dog.

That's me.

Last night TBHITW was returning from Boston after a quick business trip. I wanted him to have a decent meal on his return so I dragged myself off the coach and roasted this up.

David Becker from Burningheart Farm is my "chicken guy".. his little hens are free-range, organic and the tastiest birds I have ever eaten. Thank you David for my latest chicken shipment, as usual, you are spoiling my family with great food.

Orange Roasted Chicken (serves 4)

One 3 to 4 pound chicken
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 small orange, rind grated and reserved, cut the orange in quarters
1 tablespoon orange rind
1 tablespoon kosher salt
few grinds fresh black pepper

Four hours before roast time (or the night before)
Rinse and pat dry the chicken. Using your fingers, gently separate the skin around the breast from the meat.

Mix the herbs with the softened butter and smear the mixture between the breast and the skin of the chicken.

Mix the orange rind and the kosher salt together.

Rub the outside of the chicken all over with the orange / salt mixture. Place the chicken on a rack on a rimmed cookie sheet.

Stuff the cavity with the quartered orange and place uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to roast. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Brush the underside of the chicken with the melted butter.
Roast in the upper 1/3 of the oven for 20 minutes per pound starting with the breast side DOWN. Half way through roasting, flip the bird over*, baste with the remaining melted butter and finish roasting. Let rest 15 to 30 minutes before carving.

* this is easy to do using two wooden spoons. Place one up the birds bum, the other in the neck cavity, lift and the bird will naturally turn breast side up.

A Cook's Notes: I don't have a picture of the finished bird because I was weak from hunger by the time it was done. You just have to believe me it was a roasted, golden, picture of perfection. Salting the skin and letting the chicken rest in the refrigerator draws the moisture out of the skin and allows it to roast up crackling and golden. Roasting the bird breast side down protects the white meat while automatically basting it with the juices from the fattier dark meat. Try this technique, you won't be disappointed.


  1. Wow, you can roast up this little dream while sick? My husband gets Top Ramen when I'm sick. This recipe sounds wonderful. I can't wait to try it. Hope you are feeling better soon. Are you planning a trip to Italy? I'm a little behind in your postings :-(

  2. The taste of orange goes so well with fowl. Duck L'Orange comes immediately to mind, for me. Love that.

    Funny - when I have a cold, I become ravenously hungry. I tend to eat and eat and eat, much more than usual.

  3. You are an amazing chef!!!! You are sick, and you put this together? This would be Christmas dinner for me!!!!! I'm in absolute awe of your talent...Hope you are feeling a little better! Love you! Janine XO

  4. Yum, the chicken sounds wonderful...especially with an organic bird. Hope you feel better soon!

  5. I am also SO. SICK. Only I have a chest cold and a cough that racks my body and slams my brain against the inside of my skull in EXPLOSIVE BURSTS.

    I have not cooked all week. Luckily my husband has taken over. I think I might have him make this for me tomorrow! Then we can make broth!

    Go you for being such a good wife and making yummy dinner whilst sick. I mostly just lay on the couch, cough, and whine.

  6. Oh, yummy. I can't believe you 'whipped' this up while sick. What a fortunate man you are married husband gets to cook for me when I am sick!

  7. I don't understand the whole "loosen the skin" thing. I try every year with my turkey and maybe I'm just being too gentle?

  8. Chicken is best when roasted whole!

  9. You are my hero, cooking when sick is something that I would NEVER do... that's what tinned soup is for ;0)

    Your food always looks amazing.

  10. Wow. I cannot believe you did that after being sick for 3 days. I am going to block my husband from EVER reading your blog!!!!

  11. Nancy - the oven did most of the work! We are going to Italy in September - at least that is the plan. 4 days in Rome and 7 days on the Almalfi Coast at Cooking School!!

    Suldog - Feed a cold, starve a fever!

    Sniffles - once you master roasting a chicken, its no work at all. Love to you too!

    Blissed - free range, organic birds are amazing! My chicken guy even raises his own feed for his birds - and you can taste the difference.

    Jen - I only cooked because TBHITW had been out of town and he eats terribly stuff when I'm not around. Believe me, the KidAdults ordered Chinese Takeout for days....

    Whitney - See my comment to Jen, above - AND when I wasn't cooking I was laying on the couch watching movies, sleeping or listening to my Italian CD's.

    Kate - rough that bird up!

    Buffalo - you know it!

    Eternally - thank you. And I agree that's what canned soup is for, but TBHITW had been out of town and he deserved a decent meal on his return.

    Sara - Make him read it only if he is sick. ;-)


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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