Monday, March 5, 2012

A Sassy Roast Chicken

I had a subscription to Cook's Illustrated for years.  I learned so much from them, probably more than I even know.  Between Cook's and Alton Brown, I collected a foundation of basic cooking techniques and classic recipes that I will use as a starting place, probably for my whole life.  Cook's taught me my favorite version of a roast chicken, and my favorite spicy grilled butterflied chicken.  Today I will combine them.

Chipotle, lime, garlic, and honey roast chicken.  

First I made a paste of chipotles canned in adobo sauce, a little bit of the sauce, cilantro, garlic, and lime zest.  Then I separated the chicken skin from the meat with my fingers, and divided the paste between the breast meat and thigh meat, pushing on the skin to make sure it was even.

On top of the skin I put freshly ground pepper and salt, and placed the bird in a 425 oven, breast down, for 25 minutes.  After the initial roast I turn the oven to 375, and flip the bird for the remaining 35-40 minutes.  In the last 10 minutes I mix the juice of the lime I zested earlier and an almost equal amount of honey, and brush most of it onto the bird.  I don't do this too early on in the baking or the honey will just burn on the skin.  Not appetizing.  The remaining lime & honey mixture I save for after I carve the bird.  You can have it as a dipping sauce, or do what I do, and drizzle it over the platter of freshly carved meat before the little urchins get their hands on it.

Now, what's to be had alongside such a marvelously flavored chicken?  Not a loaf of bread, sure you could make rice, but what about homemade tortillas?  ***cheering erupts***  Thank you, thank you....bowing...realizing I'm alone in my kitchen.  *ahem*

Anyhow, tortillas are very easy to make.  All you need is Maseca, water, salt if you'd like, and a flat griddle.

Like this one ~ they are very cheap and easy to find in case you don't have one.  Just add water to the Maseca, and knead until it becomes a soft mass.

Cover the dough as you roll out each tortilla & cook them on your griddle for about 1 minute per side.  It's that easy!'s that easy to cook them, but just try getting them round.  Mine end up resembling the state of Alaska, but what is this, a beauty contest?

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