samedi, août 07, 2010

Orange Glazed Roast Chicken

Orange Glazed Roast Chicken

Many many years ago, a few of my classmates at University were interviewed for a job with the Secret Service. I wasn't one of them probably since I looked anything but secretive. My life, as I like to say, is an open book.

Anyway, at one point friend in question asked the recruiter about the Service's staff turnover. "We have very low turnover," the recruiter announced proudly. Friend flipped. Translate it to mean "Get in and you will never get out." He chose to be a school teacher instead.

This popped to the mind because of a remark that Hub made recently. An expat couple (actually very lovely people) we know here have always been very discreet about their financial activities. In fact they are more or less discreet about everything and keep pretty much to themselves and a few selected friends. You vaguely knew what the husband did, and they have a pretty comfortable lifestyle, from membership at one of the more exclusive clubs around to designer brands, holidays, restaurants...and a new house.

When I mentioned that - plus the way the wife was recently vague (again) about something - to Hub, his reaction was : maybe they were secret agents. Now, why didn't I think of that before? How very exciting just the possibility of it.

Now what has that got to do with orange glazed chicken? Nothing much actually, but that's the problem with me, I often start to write about something only to end up with something else altogether. It's like I lose control of my pen once the ink starts to flow. I still think sometimes of some of the compositions that I've written when I was a teenager at school. Even then I would often re-read what I've written at the end of the exercise/test/exam and wonder, "Did I just write that?" One of my Political Science lecturers at University once gave us a very good piece of advice : Read what you've written a few days after you've written it and see whether you still agree with it.

Unfortunately when it comes to my blog, I rarely find the courage to read what I've written earlier, scared to discover what I've been up to/thinking of/eating/blabbing about. Sometimes my dad or my little sister would ask me about something I've written about (and done) and I would shrink and think, "Shit, did I mention that?"

I had syrup leftover from the Atayef and decided to make Orange Glazed Roast Chicken with it. I also made Garlic Mashed Potatoes which is always a hit with the family.

Orange Glazed Roast Chicken :

The Orange Glaze :

150ml Orange juice
100g Sugar
1 Tsp Light Soy sauce
1/2 Tsp Orange zest

The Roast Chicken :

1 large free-range Chicken
1 large Garlic clove (bashed)
3 sprigs fresh Thyme
1 sprig fresh Rosemary
A few Sage leaves
A few pieces of Orange peel
1/4 Tsp 5-spice powder
Salt and Pepper
Olive oil or Butter
6 Tbsp White wine

Homemade Garlic Mashed Potatoes :

4 large Potatoes (peeled and quartered)
Olive oil or Butter
2 Garlic cloves (minced)
1 1/2 cup Chicken stock
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp ground Black pepper
3 heaped Tbsp Crème fraîche

Prepare the orange glaze by boiling sugar, orange juice, zest and light soy to a syrup. Set aside to cool.

Pre-heat the oven to 210°C.

Wash and pat dry the whole chicken. Stuff it with salt, the fresh herbs, garlic and the orange peel.

Rub the chicken with the 5-spice powder, salt and pepper. Gently smooth olive oil or melted butter all over the skin.

Bake the chicken breast-down in a baking dish in the hot oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and pour 3 Tbsp of the white wine over the chicken. Then brush the orange glaze generously over it. Return to the oven to bake for another 10 minutes or till the skin is brown and crisp.

Remove from the oven again and turn the chicken over so that it is now breast-up. Pour the remaining white wine over it and glaze it generously with the orange glaze.

Return to the oven and remove every 10 minutes (2-3 times) to apply more orange glaze on it.

Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before cutting it up to be served. Recuperate the orange-scented roasting juices from the baking dish and serve it with the roast chicken and mashed potatoes.

As for the mashed potatoes, I like mine roughly mashed with bits of the potato still in it. Boil the potatoes in salted water till they are cooked, drain and mash them. Set aside.

In a pot, heat up some olive oil and fry the garlic till fragrant. Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper and return the mashed potatoes to the pot. Mix well and when the potatoes have absorbed the garlic stock, stir in the cream. Yummy...

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