Tuesday, December 20, 2016

smells so nice

Roast chicken. It's a roller-coaster relationship we have. Sometimes, I think I will surely poison all of us because it seems it will never evenly come to temperature, and other times, I think I'm a domestic goddess whose roast chicken could medal.

This was a little somewhere in between - I left it in a little too long, but the payoff was an incredibly fragrant kitchen filled with sesame, ginger and garlic. Unfortunately, I didn't feel the aromatics infused the chicken itself with much flavor. It's how I feel about popcorn - smells great, but really nothing when it gets to your mouth. I think I would have been better off putting some of the flavorings under the skin rather than just brushing the skin and filling the chicken, a la this Ginger-Lemongrass Roast Chicken

Luckily, it was all balanced by a particularly aggressive side - some curry-roasted cauliflower punched up even more with additional turmeric, and then crunched up with pistachios, and mellowed out with sweet golden raisins. 

Mirin Roast Chicken
slightly adapted from Food52
serves 4-6

1 5-lb. whole chicken
2 t. sesame oil
1/3 c. mirin
1 1/2 T. salt
2 t. ground black pepper
4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 3-inch lengths
4-in. piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch slices
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and smashed

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil and mirin. Set aside. Combine the salt and pepper in a small bowl.

3. Place the chicken on roasting rack on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle 1/3 of the salt and pepper mixture in the cavity of the chicken. Then stuff the chicken cavity with layers of the scallions, ginger, and garlic. Sprinkle the remainder of the salt and pepper all over the outside of the chicken. Brush the chicken liberally with the mirin-sesame oil mixture. After the chicken is liberally brushed with the mirin, take what is remaining and pour it in the cavity of the chicken.

4. Roast for approximately 60-75 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 degrees. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Roasted Curry Cauliflower with Turmeric, Pistachios + Raisins
slightly adapted from White on Rice Couple
serves 4

4 T. olive oil
1 t. sesame oil
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. rice vinegar
2 t. curry powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 head cauliflower (about 2 lbs.), cut into florets
1/4 c. pistachios
1/4 c. golden raisins

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.

2. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, curry powder and turmeric. Whisk well. Gently add the cauliflower to the bowl and coat with the marinade.

3. Arrange the cauliflower on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, tossing once, until cauliflower is golden. Serve with pistachios and raisins.

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