This time of year I just adore stocking up on clementines. I buy them by the box full and use them in almost everything I cook. And nothing goes to waste – I use the zest, the pulp, and the juice.
Last week when I was preparing our Chinese New Year’s dinner, I decided to roast a chicken. As I’ve shared with you in the past, my husband is of part Chinese ancestry, so I like to honor his cultural heritage keeping his childhood traditions alive both for him and our son, by celebrating Chinese New Year.
Now getting back to the chicken…For those of you who know me, the fact that I’m roasting a chicken (yet again, Mary?) will come as no a surprise. I love roasting whole chickens…and just cooking with them in general.
In any event, once again, getting back to this chicken (I can be a terrible “digress-er”)…I propped her up on a beer can which was filled half with beer and half with the juice from about six clementines. Next, I rubbed the chicken with a bit of softened butter then sprinkled it with a Chinese spice blend that included black and white sesame seeds, garlic powder (yes, very retro but coming back into favor thanks to the fried chicken recipe in Bon Apetite Magazine this month), ground ginger, red pepper flakes, and just a touch of turmeric. Then I topped it all off with a good dose of the clementine zest.
I tossed the used clementines into the roasting pan, added a bit of water, put a small foil tent* over the very top of the chicken, then popped the whole thing in a 450 degree pre-heated oven. Within an hour my family and I were enjoying a succulent bird imbibed with the delicate citrus flavor from the clementines. Just delicious!
*I have a very small oven, and when a chicken is propped upright, the top of the chicken is almost touching the roof of my oven, so I tend to tent the chicken with foil. If you have a large oven, you may not need to do this.