Serve with Celery Root and Green Apple Salad
This is our holiday version of weeknight roast chicken. Back in the days when clementines were a rarity, they were what you got in your Christmas stocking. Nowadays in Poland, as elsewhere, clementines are sold in cartons for the holidays, and Poles buy them in bulk, placing them in enormous bowls on the table and around the house, as an edible decoration and a symbol of seasonal abundance. Anne often puts them on a platter, sprinkles a handful of walnuts and some dates on top, and serves them with the after-dinner coffee, instead of dessert. That’s all one wants after a heavy winter meal, after all.
Here the clementines are cooked whole, inside the chicken (or if you have a 1/2 chicken, lay the chicken on top of them), where their juice sweetens the gravy and their zest gives it bite. This is a very easy dish, perfect for one of those nights around Christmas when you aren’t entertaining hordes of cousins, but aren’t in the mood for leftovers either. To add to the laziness factor, we throw some whole baking potatoes into the pan as well. Everyone loves this dish.
- chicken – 1/2
- olive oil – 1 tbsp
- clementines – 2, peel left on
- fresh rosemary, parsley, and/or marjoram – a few whole sprigs of each, plus 1 TBS of each, chopped
- potatoes – peel left on, 1 per person
- salt – about 1 TBS
- orange juice – 1 cup, fresh-squeezed
- shallots or onions – 3/4 cup, peeled and minced
- pepper – freshly ground, about 1 1/2 tsp
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Wash the chicken and pat dry. Rub the outside with olive oil and the salt. In a roasting pan, place the chicken on top of a few unpeeled clementines, as well as a few whole sprigs of herbs, also rubbed with olive oil. (If using a whole chicken, stuff the cavity of the chicken with as many clementines as will fit without spilling out).
- Roast the chicken for about 45 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the leg is pierced with the tip of a knife, basting occasionally to brown the skin.
- Rub some baking potatoes in salt, prick them, and place them in another roasting pan in the oven beneath the chicken and turn them midway through cooking — they will be ready when the chicken is. If not, let the chicken rest while the potatoes continue, until fork tender.
- Remove the chicken to a carving board and let rest. Skim off any fat from the pan juices, and set the pan on top of the stove over low heat. Add the orange juice, chopped herbs, and shallot or onions; raise the heat; and bring to a boil. Lower the heat again and simmer until reduced and thickened. Season with salt and pepper. You will want to have about 1 cup of orange gravy.
- Remove the clementines from the chicken cavity, cut them in half, and use them as garnish on the serving platter. Carve the chicken and pass the sauce separately. Halve the baking potatoes lengthwise and serve them alongside the chicken.
- Serve with Chopped Celery Root and Green Apple Salad.
- Not included in Large Kitchen Box: Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper
- Chef Tip: If you rub the chicken with the olive oil and salt the night before, and let it sit in your refrigerator uncovered overnight, it will be juicier when you roast it!