New Year Chicken

This is not a Chinese New Year recipe. If you want some of those, I've got them, but this isn't it.

I invented this salt, brown sugar, ginger and white pepper roast chicken on New Years 2006. I small group of friends filed into my place in Cambridge through the New England snow for dinner, wine and the Twilight Zone Marathon.

I love roast chicken. If it's done well it is one of the great treats, and it can be really simple: just some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and lemon will do very well. This roast chicken preparation creates a golden skin fragrant with ground ginger, a twist of white pepper and a breath of caramel from the brown sugar.

My boyfriend took one bite, stood up and said "Honey. This is the best chicken I have ever eaten".

And no, he wasn't in the doghouse with me at the time.

You will need:

One jar of ground ginger
about 4 to 5 tbsp coarse ground black pepper
3 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup raw brown sugar (soft demerera works best)
3 tsp salt

One lime

One 3 to 4lb chicken. If you want to make a bigger chicken then you will have to increase the mixture above accordingly.


Preheat the oven to 425.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and sniff it gently. If you are a pepper lover you may want to add more pepper...it depends on how spicy you want to make it.

Cut the lime in quarters and squeeze the juice over the chicken which you have placed on a roasting tray. If you like a really crispy skin or if the chicken doesn't have much fat on it put a spoon full of olive oil between the skin and the flesh of the chicken breast.

Spoon the dry mix over the skin of the chicken smoothing in as you go. make sure the whole carcass has at least a little of the spice on it, including the underside. Spoon any remaining spice into the cavity.

Put in the oven for 20 mins, then lower the heat. you can pour any juices that have come off over the chicken while you're in there. Cook for a further 30 mins and turn the heat back up for the last 10 to 15 to get a really good crispy skin.

Check the chicken is done by piercing with a skewer. The juices should run clear, with no blood.

Serve with some boiled new potatoes or mashed potatoes, roast parsnips and greens. Kale, with its dark green leaf and slightly bitter flavour is a great compliment to the sweet spicy chicken.

I recommend a white wine with some body to go with this meal: an oaky chardonnay or a rounded sauvignon blanc should do the trick, but a pouilly fousse or other white burgundy is preferable if you can afford it.

1 comment:

Charity said...

Great work.