Hey y’all it’s been a while since I submitted a recipe! How is everyone doing? Gearing up for the holiday season? I thought you could use a good Caribbean Style Roasted Chicken to add to your holiday table.
A Quick update before the roasted chicken recipe:
If you follow me on social media then you know a lot has changed in my life since my last post. Like a lot! For starters I just had another baby, that makes number 3 for our family. I’ve also shifted my eating to a more gluten free, grain free (mostly), clean eating lifestyle. Now before you start to roll your eyes, hear me out. Over the years I’ve encounter a couple of health related issues that caused me to go through a food elimination process and through that I’ve noticed that some foods make me feel sick. So I’ve been working really hard to stay away from those foods. Now once in a while I have a taste here and there and suffer through the consequences (I’m only human, right). But for the most part I am consistent and complaint. I’ve shared this or most of this on my social media.
Follow me on social media!
If you don’t follow me on social media, what are you waiting for? You are missing out on some cool cooking tips, awesome recipes and lots and lots of yummy food pics. So hit your girl up on instagram: @metemgeeblog or Facebook: facebook.com/metemgee. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, I am sharing my recipe for oven roasted chicken. I make this chicken at least once a month in the cooler months and it is finger licking good. The pan juices remind me so much of the chicken my mom made during Christmas when I was growing up in Guyana. My recipe uses all clean (no added sugar and simple) ingredients and comes together quickly. Check it out below and let me know what you think.
Prepping the chicken before roasting:
This step is very important and will impact the amount of flavor in your finished roasted chicken. Plan to do this prep the day before or at least 6 hours before roasting the chicken. I start with an average sized chicken. This one weighs about 5 pounds. I washed my chicken with water and white vinegar. I know there is an entire debate about not washing chicken, but listen I have never heard of a Guyanese/Caribbean person getting salmonella poisoning, so yeah, I’ll keep washing my chicken.
1. Cutting the chicken down the breast bone
Once the chicken is clean, I use my kitchen shears to cut it down the front. Traditionally, when you spatchcock or butterfly a bird, you cut out the back bone. That doesn’t work in our house because the back [bone] is my husband’s favorite part of the chicken, especially this roasted chicken. So I started to cut it down the front. And because I am no longer roasting the chicken breast side up, the chicken breasts soak up all the juices running down from the back of the chicken. This makes the chicken breasts juicy and tender.
Once I’ve cut the chicken open I then dry it with a paper towel or two. This step is particularly important for a crunchy roasted exterior especially on the skin side of the chicken.
Next, I add some lemon juice, then salt, then I smoother it with green seasoning.
2. Seasoning the chicken:
If you are Guyanese or of Caribbean heritage, you know that we live and die by green seasoning. Over the years, I have moved away and dare I say evolved from adding green seasoning to everything that I cook. I have become selective with when I want that flavor profile, but it is definitely a must for roasted chicken dishes. The green seasoning I used for this recipe, is more of a pesto in that I used olive oil when blending the ingredients together (see below for the recipe). Some people use water but I wanted a more buttery smooth paste to stick to the chicken.
I always add the seasoning to the inside of the chicken first, ensuring that I stuff a generous amount of seasoning under the skin and in any pockets between the flesh.
Once I’ve completely covered the inside with seasoning. I then turn the chicken over and place it in the pan I will be roasting it in. In this case I am using a cast iron skillet, perfect for even roasting. I like to marinade my chicken in the pan versus a bowl because I don’t want to lose any of the yummy seasoning.
Next, I repeat my seasoning process with the skin side of the chicken. Dry the skin with a paper towel or two (just like we did before). Then add lemon juice and salt. And of course, slather with the green seasoning. After that I clean the sides of the pan to remove any excess seasoning that may burn while roasting the chicken. Then I cover the chicken with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge overnight. The next day I remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before roasting. This allows the chicken and pan to come up to room temperature for even roasting and thorough cooking. The last thing you want after roasting is to cut open this baby and find that it is still raw on the inside.
3. Roasting the Chicken
I roast my chicken at 450 °F for about an hour, starting on the middle rack in the oven. My oven cooks very unevenly, so I rotate the chicken throughout the cooking process and if there are any parts that are getting brown too soon, I cover those with aluminum foil.
About 30 minutes into roasting, I move the chicken to the bottom rack. This allows for even cooking without burning the skin. The skin is my favorite part!
Then I spoon the pan juices over the chicken and let it roast for an additional 15 minutes.
4. Finishing Touches for your roasted chicken
At this point we are on our way to a very flavorful and deliciously roasted chicken! To maximize the pan juices, I add 1/2 cup water or white wine, pinot grigio or chardonnay works great here. Don’t skip this step because nothing tastes better than the pan juice over rice or cauliflower rice in my case! Adding water, deglazes the pan and makes a really nice “gravy.”
The final step is to cover the chicken with aluminum foil and let it cook for another 15 minutes. This is tricky because the pan is so hot, so please be careful and use oven mitts for this step.
When the chicken is done roasting, remove the chicken from the oven. Then let it rest for 20-30 minutes before serving. This chicken is flavorful down to the bones. It’s chew the bones good y’all. You won’t regret it. Try it this holiday season, it’s a great substitute for turkey for those who are not turkey fans. And if you are a turkey fan I hope you are trying my Jerk Turkey. You can find that recipe here!
Roasted Chicken (Caribbean Style) Recipe:
- 1 whole chicken (5-6 pounds)
- 2 teaspoons of salt (or salt to taste)
- 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup of white vinegar (used with water to wash the chicken)
- ½ cup water or white wine
- ½ yellow onion
- 2 heads green onion
- 1 bundle of fresh thyme (leaves removed from the stem)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 stalks of celery
- 2 wiri wiri peppers (seeds removed), substitute with scotch bonnet pepper if necessary.
- 1 tablespoons of olive oil
- Add all of the green seasoning ingredients listed above to a food processor and blend until a smooth paste forms.
- Wash and prep chicken with vinegar and water. Remove the liver, neck bone and gizzards if included. You can discard these bits or add them to the roasting pan if you like.
- Using kitchen shears, cut the chicken down the breast bone, then turn chicken back side up and press on the back bone to flatten chicken.
- Turn chicken breast side up and dry inside chicken with paper towel.
- Using half of a lemon, drizzle lemon juice over the chicken, followed by 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Rub to cover the chicken evenly.
- Sprinkle generously with salt.
- Add half of the green seasoning to inside of the chicken, ensuring to get the seasoning in all the nooks and grannies and any parts of the breast that may have pockets.
- Place chicken breast side down into a roasting dish or pan.
- Press to ensure chicken is flat, then repeat the seasoning steps above: dry chicken skin with paper towels. Drizzle the juice of half a lemon, followed by 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Rub to cover all visible surface area of the chicken. So basically anywhere else that you didn't add seasoning to before. Sprinkle generously with salt and then lather with the remaining green seasoning.
- Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and place seasoned chicken in the refrigerator to marinate over night.
- Remove chicken from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before roasting to allow the pan and the chicken to come up to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 450 °F.
- Remove plastic wrap from chicken
- Place chicken uncovered on the middle rack of the oven
- Roast for 30 minutes
- Spoon pan juices over chicken then roast for 15 more minutes
- Add ½ cup water or white wine to pan and cover with aluminum foil.
- Continue to roast for another 15 minutes, then remove chicken from oven.
- Let rest for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.