|Peruvian Roast Chicken with Garlic & Lime|
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped coarse
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest plus ¼ cup lime juice (2 limes)
- 1 teaspoon minced habanero chile
- 1 (31/2 to 4 pound) whole chicken, giblets discarded
- Process all ingredients except chicken in blender until smooth paste forms, 10 to 20 seconds. Use your fingers to gently loosen skin covering breast and thighs; place half of paste under skin, directly on meat of breast and thighs. Gently press on skin to distribute paste over meat. Spread entire exterior surface of chicken with remaining paste. Tuck wings behind back. Place chicken in 1 gallon zipper-lock bag and refrigerate at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Place vertical roaster on rimmed baking sheet. Slide chicken onto vertical roaster so drumsticks reach down to bottom of roaster, chicken stands upright, and breast is perpendicular to bottom of pan. Roast chicken until skin just begins to turn golden and breast registers 140 degrees, 45 to 55 minutes. Carefully remove chicken and pan from oven and increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. (The "NOTES" section below explains how to cook chicken without a roaster.)
- Once oven has come to temperature, place 1 cup water in bottom of baking sheet and continue to roast until entire chicken skin is browned and crisp, breast registers 160 degrees and thighs register 175 degrees, about 20 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through roasting. Check chicken halfway through roasting; if top is becoming too dark, place 7-inch square piece of aluminum foil over neck and wingtips of chicken and continue to roast. (If pan begins to smoke and sizzle, add additional water to pan.)
- Carefully remove chicken from oven and let rest, still on vertical roaster, for 20 minutes. Using 2 large wads of paper towels, carefully lift chicken off vertical roaster and onto carving board. Carve chicken and serve passing Spicy Mayonnaise separately.
Notes: I only had two hours to give for the marinating process, and the chicken still tasted flavorful. The chicken selected for roasting weighed slightly more than this recipe calls for at 5.25pounds. Also, I did not use the oven. I used a gas Weber grill (goodness knows how I love my grill...but that is a discussion for another blog:) ) I heated the grill to a little above temperature (since heat is dissipated once opened). I set the temperatures to maintain right about 350degrees F. I don't have a rotisserie, so as the cookbook recommended, I placed the chicken onto a 12 oz. beer can. (Basically Beer Chicken: where one empties half the can of beer out of can, and then slide the chicken onto the can. The drumsticks will be pointing down). A smaller aluminum buffet tray was used to cook the chicken; too large of pan can cause much of the drippings to evaporate. Cook the chicken to indicated temperatures as listed in the “method of preparation” section, using a digital thermometer to test chicken.
In all, I had wonderful results! It was flavorful with a very crispy skin and juicy meat. I wish I could post a picture of the completed dish and there was a scratch and sniff on your monitor! That is my very own picture (at the top of this post). It tastes as good as it looks!
Credits: Cook's Illustrated Cookbook Page 341