Welcome to another edition of Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party. A theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out. This month’s theme is Boozy Cooking hosted by Megan Myers of Stetted. We’ve all made foods that use beer, wine or spirits. It’s going to be a rip roaring party with #ProgressiveEats this month! Make sure you check out the links below the recipe.
The flavorful foods of South America have been making news in San Francisco for the past few years and it is my pleasure to share a new recipe highlighting those flavors with all of you. Unlike the Mexican cuisine available in most of America, South American foods have very little spicy heat but a ton of flavor. They use a variety of chiles, mostly mild on the heat index, a lot of citrus, and fresh herbs that will have your taste buds singing without stinging.
I also used the national liqueur of Peru, Pisco brandy, to infuse a little extra flavor and provide a moist cooking environment for the chicken. This is a delightful alcohol for both mixed drinks and cooking. It is sweet with hints of citrus and other fruits, and is used to make Pisco Sours, the Peruvian cocktail that is quickly becoming a favorite of bartenders around America and the world. The liquor isn’t very expensive and just by adding a splash, is a fun way to spike up ordinary meals. Best of all, it is naturally gluten-free! You can find it at BevMo, most liquor stores, or online.
This was one of the best chickens I have ever cooked. Tender, moist, and full of flavor, it would be perfect as the main component of chicken salad, used in sandwiches, or eaten as we did, fresh out of the oven for dinner. It is remarkable and easy to make with very little clean up needed. You can also make it on the barbecue in a grill-safe baking dish.
If you have never cooked a whole chicken, you really should give it a go. It is incredibly easy and creates a tender, moist chicken that your family will love. It doesn’t require any attention while it is roasting, giving you more time to make the rest of your meal while the chicken cooks. If cutting up a whole cooked chicken makes you nervous, take a look at this video from my friends at The Kitchn, which gives you step-by-step directions. Start by taking off the leg/thigh on each side, then the wings (or leave them attached to the breasts), and finally separate the breasts from the rib cage. Try it once and you’ll get the hang of it — from then on it’s a piece of cake. I do it regularly and wonder now why it ever scared me!
I served this chicken and The Artist, our guests and I couldn’t stop exclaiming about how delicious it was. It was amazing that there were any leftovers at the end of the meal. This is truly finger-licking good chicken!!
I hope you try this dish. Don’t be afraid of it being too spicy because there isn’t any heat in the marinade. If you like spicy foods, switch out cayenne, chipotle, or habanero for the mild chiles I used. And if you have the inclination, pour a little Pisco to sip alongside your meal – Wahoo!!
Have a wonderful day!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Pisco is a form of brandy which, once heated, is highly flammable. Do not forget to add the water and stock to the pan. This dilutes the brandy to soften the flavors as well as protect you from unexpectedly flaming the brandy! Yes, it has happened to me in the past – I used brandy when baking chicken, forgot to dilute it and there was a small explosion in my oven when it ignited! Learn from my mistakes. 🙂
This dish is naturally gluten-free!
- 4 to 5 lb whole chicken
- 1 lime, quartered
- 1/2 onion, peeled and cut in half
- Handful fresh cilantro sprigs
- 1/4 cup organic olive oil
- Juice of 2 limes
- 3 large garlic cloves, peeled, split in half lengthwise and center core discarded
- 1/2 red bell pepper, stem and seeds discarded, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, peeled and coarsely chopped
- About 6 to 12 sprigs of cilantro, intact
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp ground paprika
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp crushed Aleppo chili*
- 1/2 tsp Mulato chile powder or ancho chile powder*
- 1-1/2 tbsp ground cumin
- 3 tsp dried oregano
- Pisco Cooking Liquid
- 1 cup Pisco brandy, such as Barsol or Campo de Encanto
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup water
- Marinate the Chicken: Remove the giblets and any excess fat from the cavity of the chicken, rinse inside and out under cold running water. Set the chicken on a clean work surface; pat dry with paper towels.
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Transfer the chicken to a large plastic bag or bowl. Pour half the marinade in the cavity of the chicken and rub it over the entire cavity. Pour remaining marinade over the outside and rub it on all sides of the chicken. Seal the plastic bag or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours or up to overnight. Turn the chicken over several times to evenly distribute the marinade.
- If you are running short of time, you can do a quick marinade - 30 minutes to 1 hour. The flavor will not be as intense or have penetrated the meat as much, but it will still be delicious.
- Roast the Chicken: Pour Pisco brandy, stock, and water in the bottom of a roasting pan. Remove the marinated chicken from the plastic bag and place, breast-side up, in the pan. Insert the lime, onion, and cilantro in the cavity of the chicken. Discard the remaining marinade.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Place the chicken in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350°F and continue cooking for an additional 30 to 40 minutes or until an instant read thermometer inserted in the breast (without touching any bone) reaches 160°F. Timing will vary depending on the size of the chicken and heat-level of your oven. (Note: ovens can vary as much as 25°F or more, always use an instant read thermometer to judge doneness.)
- Carefully remove the pan from the oven and use tongs to move the chicken - tip it so any juices trapped in the cavity spill into the roasting pan - from the pan to a cutting board. Tent loosely with foil and let rest for 15 minutes. The chicken will finish cooking and the juices will redistribute into the meat while it rests.
- Carve chicken into quarters (or smaller portions) and serve immediately.
- Yield: about 4 servings
- * Using individual chile powders allows you to customize the flavor profile of your dishes. If you do not have specialty chile powders you can substitute 1 tsp generic chili powder instead. Chipotle chile powder will provide more heat and a smokier flavor.
Create a New Tradition Today!
This recipe is part of our monthly progressive dinner party, #ProgressiveEats. See the links below for more inspiration and great recipes!
Soups & Stews
- Carbonnade Beef and Beer Stew from Mother Would Know
- One Hour Ham and White Bean Soup from Miss in the Kitchen
- Rum Jerk Chickenfrom Stetted
- Peruvian Pisco Roast Chicken (Gluten-Free) from The Heritage Cook
- Red Wine and Pork Pasta Sauce Food Hunter’s Guide
- Sous Vide Chinese Drunken Wine Chicken from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
- Guiness Chocolate Cupcakes with Irish Whiskey Frosting from Creative Culinary
- Irish Cream Pots de Creme from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter Ice Cream Sauce from Pastry Chef Online
To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information. We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we always need substitutes and if there is enough interest, we may consider adding additional groups.
Let’s connect! If you ever need any entertaining or cooking advice, need to alter a recipe for gluten-free, or want recipe suggestions, don’t hesitate to email me. Thanks for joining the Heritage Cook Family!
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