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Margarita’s Roast Chicken

Margarita's Roast Chicken
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There is no tequila in this recipe, rather a nod to my friend’s pursuit for a perfectly roast chicken: golden, crisp skin and juicy, tender meat.  As simple as the ingredient list may be, chicken roasting is technique-driven and may require some trial and error to achieve perfection.  In all of its simplicity, there is a reason some people will drop $80 on a chicken for two – when cooked well, it’s comforting, delicious and maybe even luxurious.   In this recipe, I add one small step that can get your chicken where you want it to go:  golden brown and crisp.

Ingredients & Method (serves 4-6)

  • 1 whole chicken, cut in half with breast bone removed OR two whole legs (leg and thigh) and two breasts
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ Cup parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ Cup mint, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Chile Lime Seasoning (see recipe)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Generous amount of lime salt (see recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola or any neutral oil

Combine garlic, parsley, mint, chile lime seasoning and olive oil.  Season chicken all over with lime salt and black pepper. Rub herb mixture all over flesh side only and place chicken on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet, skin side UP.  Chill for up to one day but at least for 2 hours.  This step will help dry the skin and make it extra crispy once it hits a hot pan.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Heat one tablespoon of canola oil in a very large heavy bottomed pan, such as cast iron.  Once oil is hot, place chicken in pan, skin side down.  Do not crowd the pan – use two pans if necessary.  When skin is nicely browned, about 5 minutes, transfer pan(s) to the oven.  Roast for about 20 minutes and turn chicken skin side up.  Roast for another 10-15 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the chicken.

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