Because my Tomato and Hearts of Palm Salad needed something sturdy to accompany it, I decided to make a roasted chicken. If you haven’t roasted a chicken in a while (or ever, for that matter) I am going to suggest you roll up your sleeves and give it a go. If you are feeling frenzied at work, are in need of feeling grounded, if you have even the tiniest bit of homemaker blood that needs to be indulged, (or if there is a hurricane in the forecast) I prescribe roasting a chicken.
Even with the recent movement toward awareness of the source of our food, I think many of us are still hesitant to see an animal in whole form. I know I am. Now in the interest of full disclosure, I do get the willy nillies rinsing out the chicken and holding it under its arms (eek!) but I persevere. I envision Julia Child and all of the other wonderful cooks who “own” the ingredient and don’t shy away. I remind myself of how glorious it is to serve a roasted chicken on a platter and of the warm scents that will engulf the kitchen in no time. (Plus, I am being so economical! It is tremendously less expensive to buy a whole chicken as opposed to the individual parts.)
Call me wacko, but once I get past the willy nillies, preparing the chicken makes me feel eerily connected to my ancestors. I think about the thousands (millions?) of women before me who prepared chickens for their families. Does anyone else feel this way when they cook? Maybe I am getting a bit deep here (I think having a baby might do that to a gal!) but the moral of the story is this:
Roast a chicken. Then set the table and light the candles. Your family will love you and you will love you. It’s the food equivalent of giving yourself and everyone around you a big ole hug.
This recipe yielded a tremendously juicy and flavorful bird. The lime flavor was subtle yet present. I served ours with coriander-dusted sweet potato wedges and of course Tomato and Hearts of Palm Salad over a bed of greens.
Lime Roasted Chicken:
- 1 six pound chicken (or any size you’d like)
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 limes cut in half and poked with a fork several times
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
The night prior to cooking, remove chicken from packaging. Remove giblets from cavity and dispose of them. Rinse chicken inside and out with cold running water and then pat dry. Using clean hands rub paprika, salt, and peppers all over the chicken skin. Really rub them in. Place the lime halves inside the cavity of the bird. Place the bird in a large (freezer size) Ziploc bag and place in the fridge.
When you are ready to cook the chicken preheat the oven to 400 F. Place chicken breast side down in a roasting pan (on the rack). Drizzle with olive oil. Lower oven temperature to 350 F and cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Carefully remove the pan from the oven and flip the bird over. Return to the oven and continue to cook until internal temp reaches 180 F and juices run clear. (Note: cook at 350 F for approximately 20 minutes/pound.)
Remove from oven and let rest before carving. Pour juices from pan over sliced meat.
Inspired by The Food and Cooking of the Caribbean, Central and South America and 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know.