Crates of small round clementines abound in fruit and vegetable markets these days and while the children love to peel the bright orange fruit and eat them as is, I look to put them to good cooking use. This past weekend I used some clementines to roast a chicken and really enjoyed the fresh citrus flavor the fruit provided.
This is a pretty simple recipe as I really wanted the citrus flavors to shine: nothing but some fresh vegetables, herbs, olive oil and, of course, some bright orange clementines. Now, I’ll keep this post simple too …
… Do you have a few extra clementines hanging around in your fruit bowl? Well, there’s nothing more comforting than firing up the oven on a chilly December day to roast a whole bird; so go on, start roasting! Citrus Chicken and Potatoes anyone?
Roasted Citrus Chicken and Potatoes
a 5- to 6-pound roasting chicken, neck and giblets removed
1 lemon, halved
3 clementines, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved crosswise
4 sprigs dill
2 carrots, sliced into large chunks
2 ribs of celery, cut into large chunks
1 large leek, cleaned and sliced
4 medium to large potatoes
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place one of the garlic halves in the center of the roasting pan and scatter the carrots, celery, leek and 3/4 of the onions around it. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set the pan aside.
Squeeze the clementines and lemon over the chicken (which has been cleaned and patted dry), then place the clementine and lemon halves in the cavity of the chicken along with the remaining garlic half, dill and onion. Either tie the legs together (or close the cavity opening by “stitching” it with toothpicks as I do to better seal it and hold the flavors in) and then sprinkle the chicken generously with salt and pepper.
Place the chicken breast-side up on the vegetables in the roasting and pour the olive oil over top. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, basting once with pan juices. Meanwhile, peel and slice potatoes; toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and add to the roasting pan. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees and roast chicken and potatoes for about 1 hour longer, basting occasionally and adding water/broth to the roasting pan as necessary.
Remove the chicken to a platter and tent with foil. Test the potatoes with a sharp knife and if tender enough remove from oven, otherwise roast potatoes a bit longer while the chicken rests. Carve the chicken, spoon some sauce from the pan over the chicken, garnish with lemon and clementine slices and serve alongside the potatoes.
Oh, and please don’t throw the neck and giblets away! Just toss them into a saucepan with a splash of olive oil and let them brown; add some carrots, celery, leeks, onions, peppercorns and herbs and brown some more; stir in some water and boil until you have a fragrant and flavorful broth. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve; store in the fridge for up to a week, or better yet store it in the freezer for future use. Why buy cartons/cans of chicken broth/stock when you can easily make your own cheaper and, more importantly, healthier broth?