Roasted chicken with pomegranate relish

Roasted chicken: a simple gift

Originally appeared in the December 22, 2011 edition of the Southside Times.

Not everyone has the resources to procure the proverbial Christmas goose.  No worries.  Executed properly (meaning the cooking, of course), roasting a chicken is just as noble as producing a rare piece of fabled poultry at your holiday table.  Besides, it’s the thought that counts.

Roasting a whole chicken is refreshingly simple—even the relish (which is labor-intensive only in the dissection of the pomegranate fruit) is a six-step treat.  Trussing takes a little technique, but just remember: as long as you’ve tucked the legs and wings snug against the bird’s body, you’ll be good to go.  More after the jump:Here, I’ve stuffed the chicken with apples, oranges, and fresh herbs; but this is a mere suggestion.  Use any sort of aromatics you like: onions, carrots, and celery are classic, but the list is endless—just about as big as my kids’ lists for Santa this year.

When you’re at your local market, don’t forget: the less work someone else does, the cheaper it is for you.  Meaning, buying a whole chicken saves you a couple bucks.  And with the holiday hustle-and-bustle, it might behoove you to volunteer your culinary services without breaking the bank or your back.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays, dear reader.

Roasted chicken with pomegranate relish

Serves 4 – 6

  • 1, 3-pound grass-fed chicken, at room temp (giblets removed)
  • Cooking twine, as needed
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 orange and 1 apple, sliced in half (for stuffing)
  • As needed, fresh thyme (for stuffing)
  • As needed, kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1 ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup unsalted pistachios, coarse chop
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ orange, juiced and zested

1.  Preheat oven to 425° F.  Season the inside of the bird with salt and pepper.  Place halved orange, halved apple, and thyme in the cavity.  Using your fingers, thoroughly smear the butter over the skin of the chicken.  Season with salt and pepper.  Truss chicken with kitchen twine and place on a foil-lined sheetpan.  Place in oven and cook for approximately 35 – 40 minutes (or until juices run clear, or a thermometer reads about 160° F when inserted between the thigh and ribcage).

2.  Meanwhile, prepare relish: in a bowl, combine pomegranate seeds, pistachios, parsley, olive oil, orange juice, and zest.  Fold together.

3.  After removing from oven, allow chicken to rest for 20 – 30 minutes.  Slice off thighs, legs, and breasts, and arrange on a serving platter.  Serve with pomegranate relish.

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