SQUASH CARROT PEAR APPLE MARMALADE ROASTED CHICKEN
I know this title sounds like a mouthful but it is a wonderfully delicious mouthful. Your family and guests will think you are a wizard with this creative spin on the usual roast chicken. And it is SO easy.
From this summer’s bumper crop of squash I made a shredded carrot squash marmalade. At first I thought “ Too many squashes!” But now I wish I had more jars of it in my pantry for this recipe. Roasted chicken will never be the same.
A quick version of how to make this marmalade, without any canning, is detailed below and then stuffed under the skin of a chicken for roasting. The word marmalade conjures up the idea of a sticky sweet jam. But not here. This is really more or a shredded vegetable mix. It is only minimally sweet but bastes the meat under the skin to incredible moistness while the skin crisps up beautifully. The skin is seasoned with smoked paprika, which serves as an excellent foil for the marmalade.
5 minutes prep time if you make your marmalade up in advance. 30 minutes if you start from scratch with your marmalade production. And of course an hour in the oven.
I am going to post the marmalade directions first and the main recipe after.
1 Carrot washed well ( ok to leave the peel on if a young and tender carrot)
1 Yellow Zucchini washed well
1 Red Apple washed well ( quartered if using a food processor)
1 Pear washed well (quartered if using a food processor)
½ -1 Tsp Ground Coriander ( I love it and use a lot)
Pinch of Cinnamon
3 Tb honey or ¼ cup raw sugar
Shred the one carrot, one yellow zucchini, one red apple and one pear either by hand or in your food processor. Because I prefer to make a lot in one go and can the mixture in glass jars I use my food processor for volume. But you can do this quickly and easily with a hand shredder for this smaller amount. Once shredded place all into a 2 quart saucepan.
Add ½ – 1 tsp ground coriander, pinch of cinnamon, salt and 1/4 cup of raw sugar or 3 Tb honey.
Bring the mix up to a boil and reduce heat for 15 min until the vegetables are softening. If it seems a bit dry before the vegetables simmer then add 1 tablespoon of water to get the whole mix started. Once everything is just softened, ( don’t worry if it seems a bit firm, we are just looking for a bit of softening) take off the heat and cool well unless you are going to can.
This is what it should look like:
* Note: Do not use the marmalade while it is still hot. The mixture must be at least room temp before you stuff under the skin. Once it is cooled down some, you are ready to make your chicken.
* Additional Note: I like to make recipes that can be “multi taskers”. This marmalade is excellent on toast, gluten free crackers served with ricotta cheese, cream cheese or coconut based yogurt. I serve it to my guests as a breakfast option. It’s great layered with yogurts of any kind and nuts. There are so many uses for it in the kitchen.
ROASTED MARMALADE CHICKEN
One good size roasting chicken ( should serve four)
Shredded carrot squash marmalade ( recipe below)
One half of a yellow or white onion
One small lemon, cut in half.
Sea Salt.. for liberal sprinkling. I use Celtic Sea Salt.
1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp Olive oil
Rinse and pat dry your chicken. Place on a cutting board and liberally season with salt the inside of your bird. Now gently with a wooden spoon pry the skin away from the meat. Gently, because you don’t want to tear the skin. The blunt end of the wooden spoon makes this the perfect tool for this job. The trick is to go slowly and you can eventually insert the spoon all the way across the breast of the chicken and into the thighs. The whole thing really takes less than a minute. You can see below how the marmalade is now sitting under the skin, even bulging out a bit.
Now take a heaping soup spoon full of your marmalade and lifting the skin, guide the spoon inside just under the skin. At some point this can be a bit messy but you are almost there. With your fingers push the marmalade as far back as you can go. I insert all the way into the thigh meat.
That’s it! That was the hardest part. Now place the halved onion and two lemon halves into the central cavity of the chicken.
Pour the olive oil onto the skin and rub it all over the skin on top of the bird. After washing your hands, season the skin liberally with smoked paprika and seasoning mix of your choice. I use Spine Hunter’s Steak & Chop because it is so good. You can get smoked paprika online or at ethnic specialty stores and it is very inexpensive. I love the tins they come in. They are like little pieces of art for the kitchen!
You are done! Now the chicken and your oven do the work. I put my chicken in an old fashioned enamel roaster on top of a little rack because I find the lid keeps the moisture in yet the skin crisps beautifully. But you could do this in an open baker or even lasagna pan, just cover well with parchment paper. Never aluminum foil! Bake for about 60 min until the skin is crisp and the meat on the drumstick begins to pull away.
After about 35 minutes the smell was so good I had to take a peek. This is what it looks like at the halfway point. You can see the onion and lemon in the cavity and the browning is just beginning.
Here is the finished product. Beautiful isn’t it?
After lifting it out of the pan I let it sit for ten minutes to rest. Resting allows the meat to absorb more juices. I know it is hard to wait but your patience will definitely be rewarded. I had some warm basmati rice on hand and the smell was so intoxicating that I could not even wait to make vegetables. The juice is so flavorful and just melted into the rice. Normally I would cook some greens while the chicken was in the oven but I was distracted by work and could not wait!
This was so good that I decided to make my Thanksgiving turkey just the same way. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND ALL THOSE YOU LOVE
MAY YOU ALL SHARE A WARM AND MEANINGFUL HOLIDAY
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