Oven Roasted Grapefruit-Cilantro Chicken


3/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons grated grapefruit zest
2 shallots, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
small Onions, potatoes, and carrots if desired
1 pound asparagus


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, and lightly oil the inside of a large roasting pan.
Begin by preparing the chicken. Remove any excess giblets from the inside cavity (you can reserve these for making stock if you like), and wash the chicken inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels, cut off any excess fat, and sprinkle the inside cavity with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place the chicken in the roasting pan and set aside.
Next, make the cilantro paste. In a food processor, combine first eight ingredients, plus 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pulse until the mixture is evenly blended. You should have a moderately thick paste that you will stuff under the skin of the chicken.
On the top of the chicken (breast side), start from the cavity end and gently use your fingers to separate the skin from the meat, being careful not to tear the skin. This will create a "pocket" where you will stuff the cilantro paste. Use a spoon to transfer a couple of tablespoons of paste under the skin of each breast; then use your fingers on top of the skin to push the paste off of the spoon and distribute evenly across the breast meat. Depending on the size of your chicken, you might not use all the cilantro paste.
To finish preparing the chicken, take the remaining 1/2 grapefruit and quarter it; then stuff each of the four pieces inside the chicken cavity, with the flesh of the fruit in contact with the chicken. Use kitchen string to tie the legs of the chicken together, and tuck the wings under. Brush the outside of the chicken with the melted butter, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. If you want, scatter chopped onions, carrots, and potatoes around the chicken in the roasting pan.
Roast chicken for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.* If you have a meat thermometer, you can test for doneness by inserting it into the breast or thigh meat. Light meat is done when it reaches 150-160 degrees F, and dark meat is done when it reaches 180 degrees F. Alternatively, you know your chicken is done if you cut between the leg and the thigh and the juices run clear. When fully cooked, remove the chicken from the oven and cover with aluminum foil to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
If you want to serve some roasted asparagus with your chicken, toss 1 pound of trimmed asparagus spears with a few tablespoons of olive oil and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and bake in the top 1/3 of your oven during the last 15-12 minutes that your chicken is roasting.






Saturday, April 17, 2010 - 11:09pm


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