Monday, December 05, 2011

Roast Chicken with Fried Dirty Rice

A couple weekends ago, even though we had just eaten roast turkey, I decided to roast a chicken. (When I told this to my dad, he asked if I was in a "fowl mood.") Not that I had a hankering for poultry, mind you, I was just annoyed by the 7-lb behemoth that was taking up precious space in my freezer. Space that could be better used to accommodate half gallons of ice cream and leftover pizza.

Some weeks ago, I had planned to make Judy Rogers' roast chicken recipe from the Zuni Café cookbook, but didn't remember to prep the chicken until it was too late. Plus I could only find humongous oven-stuffer roasters at Safeway, and the chicken I purchased was nearly twice as large as the recipe called for. So I put it in the freezer for a future use.

Or until it annoyed me.

That day came the day after Thanksgiving, when I took the beast out to thaw. It was still frozen on Sunday morning, so I gave it a few minutes in the microwave on "defrost" and then a few more in an ice bath in the sink. I wanted a non-traditional roast chicken flavoring, despite having both fresh thyme and tarragon at hand, so I mixed up some spicy Sriracha-flavored butter. Seemed like a good idea to inject the bird with this mixture, but the injector that I have has a hole so far up the shaft (that sounds dirty, doesn't it?) it's nearly impossible to draw liquids into it from a shallow container. After a few futile attempts, I used my fingers to separate the skin from the breast and tucked spoonfuls of the spicy goop between the two.

Worked like a charm. The skin was nice and spicy, and the breast was moist. I gotta tell you - it was delicious. I served it with some fried rice that I whipped up using the bird's innards. Kinda like dirty rice, but Chinese-esque.

Roast Sriracha Chicken

1 whole chicken, patted dry, giblets removed and reserved for another use
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir together butter, Sriracha, ginger, and salt and allow to cool. Loosen skin on chicken breast and stuff mixture under skin. Refrigerate chicken, uncovered, until ready to cook.

Preheat oven to 450F. Roast chicken for 30 minutes, uncovered, then lower temperature to 350F and cover the breast with foil. Cook for 1 hour for a 4 lb chicken and about 8 minutes per pound over 4 lbs, or until thigh temperature reaches 175F. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes, then carve and enjoy.

Fried Dirty Rice

Neck and giblets from one chicken
8 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Chinese sausages, sliced into coins
10 radishes, cut into quarters if small, sixths or eighths if larger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
1 tablespoon honey (optional, but it brings out the sweetness in the sausage and works well with the five spice)
2 cups cooled, cooked rice
salt to taste
peanuts for garnish

In a large sauté pan, place neck and giblets and 3/4 cup water. Cover and cook about 20 minutes, removing the liver after 8 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated. Remove giblets and neck, let cool. Chop giblets and shred meat from neck; discard skin.

Place about 3/4 of the scallions and onion into the same sauté pan, which should have some fat in it from the cooked giblets. Add a dribble of olive oil if it doesn't seem like enough to cook the onions, and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until onion begins to brown. Turn heat down to medium and add sausage, radishes, and reserved giblet and neck meat. Season with garlic, five spice, and honey (if using). Cook for about 10 minutes, until radishes are tender. Add rice, breaking up any clumps with a wooden spoon. Stir well to combine rice and other ingredients. Rice should look a bit "dirty" at the end.

Heat through, taste for seasoning, and add more salt, if needed. Serve garnished with peanuts.

I served the chicken and rice with some lightly marinated cucumbers (splash of rice wine vinegar, pinches of salt and sugar) and steamed haricot verts (frozen - Trader Joe's sells some nice ones). I didn't serve a sauce, because the meat was moist and didn't need one, but I did reserve the juices left in the roasting pan for a later use. However, if you want a sauce, just skim off the fat and use the jus as is - it's plenty flavorful, needing maybe only a pinch of salt.

Posted by theminx on