First I want to clarify (although I know 99.9% of you know this), the following Orange Lacquered Roast Chicken does not contain real lacquer or any stain or shellac. Nor does it contain any substance you might find at Home Depot.
How to Orange Lacquer a Chicken.
Can you imagine?
So, I wanted to roast a chicken with orange flavor, and after many bastings with a syrupy, Asian flavored orange goo, the skin tuned a beautiful burnished color, and I think lacquered is a great way to describe it. However, I actually got the lacquered idea from Rick Bayless.
I couldn’t find my big platter, so I stuffed everything onto this medium dish for photos. It really wasn’t served this way. There were a lot more carrots and potatoes behind where this photo was taken.
Rick Bayless basted and glazed a chicken with his red mole sauce and agave syrup. He calls it Lacquered Chicken because it looks well, lacquered – not unlike a door, floor, or piece of furniture you all probably have at least one of in your home.
Great, I’m comparing chicken to lacquered wood. I bet that’s really juicing up your appetite!
The thing is, there are people who actually do use not food safe lacquer, stains and all kinds of liquid substances that will probably poison you. These people are professional food stylists. Ever see those pictures of perfectly, deep golden brown turkeys on a beautiful platter with lots of fixings, smack in the middle of a Thanksgiving table, not a burnt spot or flaw to be found? Ever wonder why that look is almost impossible to achieve ? It’s because it is impossible to achieve. Although it’s a real turkey, you cannot eat it.
I usually truss before buttering or oiling, but I wanted to show the butter in every nook and cranny. So, the wings were cut off in the buttering photo – and this was the only collage I liked. Just truss the chicken and reach in and underneath where the wings are folded and tied down to rub the butter all over them.
I always found that to be a waste, especially with all the starving people in the world. Take a perfectly edible turkey, roast it until it’s nice and brown, then slather it with wood stain and Minwax super gloss clear finishing lacquer to give it that lovely, burnished, flawless appearance, and photoshop out any imperfections and burnt spots. YUM, pass the compound and sandpaper, please!
I guess they trash the poultry once they get the photo they need. Change that ‘I guess’ to ‘I hope’.
As mentioned in the first paragraph, my lacquered chicken contains none of the above, and look at the lovely crispy, deep, burnished skin. No, it’s not perfect, and you won’t see it on one of Norman Rockwell’s holiday tables, but it’s completely edible and delicious!
For this month’s love bloghop, the theme is citrus. I had sweets on the brain, like orange sticky buns, individual lemon charlottes, orange chocolate chunk cookies of some sort, etc. After picking up an organic chicken a few nights ago my plans changed. I was craving roast chicken, so why not an orange roast chicken? I still had sweets on the brain, so the cookies were made, and the finished brioche dough for sticky buns is resting in the fridge as I type this. I will be posting both, but once this chicken came out of the oven, it got the job. I knew this was going to be my #citruslove offering.
To start, I made an orange compound butter to massage into the chicken, on top and underneath the skin, mostly the breast because thighs and legs don’t take kindly to their skin being pulled away and stuffed. They tear in protest if you go too deep, no matter how gently you slide your fingers in, so I usually do the best I can. This means the fat part of each drumstick ends up with a glob of butter, herbs or whatever, smack in the middle, which has to be massaged on the outside of the skin to cover as much of the meat as possible.
Time to segue.
As I type this, feeling no flow whatsoever, completely disjointed and discombobulated – I’m realizing how boring all of the above is. Last week I received an email from a reader;
“Why aren’t you as funny anymore? You used to crack me up. Are you ok?”
There’s too many answers to that question, and that was part of my response to her. The rest was, “I promise it’ll return, just not in a great place right now nor flowing at the moment”, with a huge smiley emoticon at the end –> 🙂
Maybe I should just post my food photos with poetry or songs? I’ve heard some of the best of both have come during ‘down times’. How about a Haiku?
Oh lacquered chicken
How beautiful thy skin is
I want your drumstick
OK, maybe not.
It’s really tough to get a good photo when everyone is begging to eat.
Back to the
boring writing chicken. I wanted to infuse a good amount of orange flavor into it since I’ve had plenty of orange roast chicken where you could barely taste the orange, so I layered – I layered like I do my skin when I get out of the shower – the body oil of the scent I plan to wear, the powder of scent I plan to wear, then the actual cologne or perfume. Orange compound butter inside out, oranges stuffed in the cavity, orange lacquer (I really love calling it that), a few herbs, seasonings, and other stuff to contrast and enhance, with a bit of Asian nuance, and we’ve got popping orange flavor, but not in an overpowering way.
Not to mention, this chicken was juicy, baby!
Shit, I’ve got nothing today, so I’ll stop here before I continue to bore and embarrass myself.
As I mentioned above, January is #citruslove month! Please join in on the #citruslove fun by linking up any citrus recipe from the month of January 2012. Don’t forget to link back to this post, so that your readers know to stop by the #citruslove (the hashtag) event on Twitter!
A shout out and thank you to my co-hosts for #citruslove;
A Little Bit of Everything, Astig Vegan, Baker Street, BigFatBaker, CafeTerraBlog, Cake Duchess, Cakeballs Cookies and More, Easily Good Eats, Elephant Eats, Food Wanderings, Georgiecakes, Hobby and More, Mike’s Baking, Mis Pensamientos, No One Likes Crumbley Cookies, Oh Cake,, Peaches and Donuts, Savoring Every Bite, Simply Reem, Smart Food and Fit, Soni’s Food for Thought, Teaspoon of Spice, That Skinny Chick Can Bake!!!, The Art of Cooking Real Food, The More Than Occasional Baker, The Spicy RD, The Wimpy Vegetarian, Vegan Yack Attack, Vegetarian Mamma, You Made That?
Please visit their blogs to see all the delicious #citruslove they created! OH, and of course – the linky! I’ve been rather involved with the linky’s lately, huh? Well, it’s just one click below to citrus porn!
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- One 5 lb organic chicken
- Orange Butter (recipe follows)
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 4 sprigs thyme
- Cut up oranges (use the ones you squeezed for the orange lacquer, plenty of orange flavor left in them)
- kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- Orange Lacquer (recipe follows)
- 1 stick (4oz) unsalted, room temperature butter
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 clove garlic, minced finely
- pinch of kosher salt
- 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 6 to 8 navel or navel sized oranges. Save the squeezed orange halves to stuff into cavity of chicken)
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 1 scant tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 large cloves garlic, chopped very finely, almost to a paste
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (regular sesame oil is fine)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Grate all the zest you will need in this recipe from your oranges, then split them in half and keep squeezing until you get 1 cup of juice. Save squeezed orange halves and set aside the zest and juice.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the butter, garlic,one tablespoon of orange zest, garlic, and kosher salt until creamy and uniform. Set aside.
- Remove giblets and neck from chicken, then rinse under cold water inside out. Dry thoroughly.
- Rub some of the orange butter all around the inside of the cavity, then salt and pepper it liberally. Stuff with all the herbs and as many orange halves as you can fit into the cavity. Truss the chicken. THIS is the method I use..quick and easy. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Rub the rest of the orange compound butter all over the chicken, inside and out, lifting the skin where you can without tearing and sliding some in, then placing the skin back down and pushing it around on top of the skin until it covers most of the meat beneath. Throw any leftover compound butter into the cavity (the hole is still big enough to get it in, even though it's trussed). Liberally salt and pepper the outside of the chicken.
- Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour a little chicken stock or water on the bottom of the pan for easier clean up and gravy, if desired, although this chicken doesn't need it.
- Place roasting pan with chicken in the preheated oven. Roast for 1 hour. Check every 20 minutes to make sure it isn't burning in spots. If it is, cover those spots with foil.
- While chicken is roasting, make orange lacquer. Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan, except the sesame oil. Cook over medium heat until the brown sugar is disssolved, then bring to a boil, stirring. Let it reduce to almost half of what it was. It won't be super thick when done, more syrupy. Stir in sesame oil.
- Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Paint several coats of the lacquer all over the chicken, getting into every nook and cranny with the brush. Roast for 15 minutes. Do this every 10-15 minutes for a total of 35-40 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F. If desired, cook/boil down (reduce) any remaining orange lacquer for a sauce, making a slurry of cornstarch and water to thicken it more, if need be.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes (this is when you should take photos if you're a food blogger! ). Carve and enjoy! I served this chicken with glazed carrots and smoked paprika roasted potatoes.