My Favorite Chicken

My Favorite Chicken

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds; I LOVE the British term “higher welfare” chicken.  That’s so much more colorful than “free-range.”
  • or 6-8 (about 3 #) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, hopefully higher welfare,
  • or chicken breasts – if that’s your thing; even boneless, skinless will work

Achiote rub

  • 1/3 c achiote paste (red)
  • 3/4 c orange juice (fresh is great but not essential)
  • 2 T lime juice
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric (optional – but it gives that familiar orange-yellowish color)
  • oil for coating the baking pan

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Put the ingredients for the achiote rub in a blender or food processor and blend until the achiote is mixed in well.

Place the chicken in a large, zip-lock bag, pour in the achiote rub and “massage” the chicken until it’s coated completely with the rub.  Let marinade for around 3 hours in the refrigerator.  Remove the chicken from the refrigerator about 1 hour before you intend to put it in the oven (but don’t worry if you forget).

Oil a baking pan.  Place the chicken in the pan.  If you’re using thighs or breasts, be sure there is space between them and place them skin side up.  If you’re using a whole chicken, place it breast side up and tuck in the wings.

Bake the whole chicken for about 1 hr and 10 minutes, checking after an hour.  The achiote paste will create a nice “burnished” look; don’t fret.  If you’re cooking thighs or breasts, about 40 minutes of baking time should do it (but the size of thighs and breasts varies tremendously; adjust the time accordingly).  If the thighs or breasts are boneless and skinless, reduce the time still more.

Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving.  

Leftovers?  Start with TOAST, remembering our last blog.  Thinly sliced chicken, a little mayo, and artisan bread, toasted, is quick and perfect. The list goes on:  try simple chicken tacos topped with homemade or canned Salsa Verde, some chopped cilantro, maybe a bit of chopped onion, and a dash of Tapatio.   A Mexican chicken salad can be quickly put together with drained, canned black beans, slices of avocado, slivered cabbage, red onion, tomatoes, if they’re in season, and some tortilla chips and maybe a little queso fresco; use a dressing of your choice.  Or use the bones and skin to make a broth, which will have a delicious Mexican twist to the flavor.

Recipe brought to you by Big Little Meals and Andy & Ann

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