Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rosemary & Apple Roast Chicken

Rosemary & Apple Roast Chicken
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Yeast-Free, Corn-Free, Soy-Free, Peanut-Free

This flavourful chicken is perfect for family dinners or entertaining!

1 whole chicken
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced with the skin on
3-4 springs of fresh rosemary

Flavoured Coating
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Additional spice for sprinkling over the apples.
Optional: 2 tsp tapioca starch for thickening gravy

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Have the bottom half of a roasting pan ready with a rack in the bottom. Prepare the chicken by removing any giblets and rinsing it under cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels (and discard the towels).

Flavoured Coating
In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine all the ingredients for the flavoured coating well using a fork. Put several pieces of apple and onion into the cavity of the chicken. Truss the legs to keep the onion and apple inside.

With a cooking brush, brush the flavoured coating all over the chicken and drip some inside the chicken too. It is fairly thick so it should stick well.

Place the chicken, breast side up in the roasting pan (on top of the rack) and pour any remaining coating over the chicken. Adjust the seasonings (additional sea salt and freshly ground pepper) if desired. Place the remaining apple slices and onion pieces around the chicken, and sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves over them. Carefully pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the pan. Break the sprigs of rosemary into large pieces and place some directly onto the top of the chicken, and some into the bottom of the roasting pan with the water.

Put the roasting pan, uncovered, into the oven and roast for 20 minutes at 475 degrees to seal in the juices, then reduce the temperature to 325 minutes for an additional 1 +1/2 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear.

**Hint: I like to baste the chicken every 30 minutes or so, and make sure there is liquid in the bottom of the pan for making gravy or au jus. If too much has evaporated, add 1/2 cup at a time.

At the end of cooking, the liquid in the bottom of the pan will be very flavourful (fruity and spicy) and likely does not need flavour added. If you wish to thicken the liquid for gravy, drain it into a small pot through a sieve or strainer to remove the rosemary leaves and cook over medium heat. Remove 4 tbsp of the hot liquid and add 2-3 tsps of tapioca flour. Stir until the flour as been absorbed and there are no lumps. Whisk the tapioca mixture back into the gravy and stir while it is cooking until it begins to thicken.

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