Sicilian Roasted Chicken

Sicilian roasted chicken, continuing with some Christmas seasonal recipes for cooking with extra virgin olive oil. A replacement for the roast turkey but including the roasted elements such as roast potatoes, garlic, lemon and spices. The gravy sauce can be combined with red wine, Morocco Gold and reduced to make a deep, highly flavoured sauce that can be poured over the Sicilian roasted chicken. Christmas in sicily is one way of tasting the authentic dish.

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Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • ¼ to ½ cup Morocco Gold
  • 4 Tbsp. mixed spices
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tsp. black pepper blend
  • Seasons Fleur de Sel (French sea salt), to taste
  • 2-3 celery stalks, cut in half
  • 2-3 carrots, cut in half
  • 1 large onion, roughly quartered
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • Fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage, bay leaf), optional
  • Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 3 pounds small red or white potatoes

Intructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
  2. To prepare the spice rub, combine 3 Tbsp. spice blend, black pepper, minced garlic and 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside for a few minutes while you attend to the chicken.
  3. Remove the giblets and any extra skin and fat from the chicken. Thoroughly wash the chicken and squeeze the juice of the lemon all over the chicken (save the lemon rind). Set the chicken aside while you prepare the vegetables to allow the lemon to infuse the chicken.
  4. Pile the celery, carrots, most of the onion quarters (save one quarter for the chicken cavity) and a few garlic cloves in the center of a roasting pan (we like to use a large cast iron for this), season with some salt and pepper and drizzle the vegetable mix with some extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Pat dry the chicken with paper towels. Using your fingertips carefully work your way under the skin of the chicken to separate the skin from the breast to develop a pocket. Spread the spice rub under the skin of the chicken. Make sure to distribute the rub evenly throughout (including the back and the cavity). Fill the chicken cavity with the saved lemon rind, fresh herbs (if using), onion quarters and a few garlic cloves. Drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil and massage the skin (this will really help to get a nice brown crispy skin). Sprinkle with more salt.
  6. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.
  7. In a large bowl, add the potatoes with salt, black pepper, 1 Tbsp. spice blend and some extra virgin olive oil; toss well to combine then scatter them around the chicken.
  8. Transfer the pan in the preheated oven and turn the heat down immediately to 400°F. Roast the chicken for 30 minutes, then rotate the pan, toss the potatoes and turn down the heat to 350°F. Cook for 1 hour longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 165°F to 175°F and juices run clear.
  9. Transfer the roasted chicken to a cutting board, remove the aromatics from the cavity and tent with foil for about 20 minutes. Remove the potatoes to a serving bowl, toss with chopped parsley and balsamic. Cover to keep warm.
  10. Carve the Sicilian roasted chicken and serve with roasted potatoes and pan juices.