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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Peruvian Roast Chicken

This is the first recipe I tried out of this cookbook, and we have made it at least four times in the past year. The chicken turns out so moist and flavorful. It's got a nice, basic, garlic flavor, nothing overpowering, so it makes for great leftovers to be used as shredded chicken in soups, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, casseroles, etc. It's easy and delicious, what more can you ask for? Plus, Zach and I both love the cilantro sauce. It's can be very addicting!

Peruvian Roast Chicken
from the Food Network Kitchens cookbook

1 head garlic
1 3-4 pound chicken, excess fat trimmed and giblets removed
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for seasoning
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon vegetable oil


Preheat the oven to 425. Remove 5 cloves from the garlic head, then halve the remaining head horizontally. Season the chicken cavity with salt and pepper to taste, then stuff with halved garlic.

Smash the garlic cloves, sprinkle with the 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and with the side of a large knife, mash and smear the mixture to a coarse paste. Put the garlic in the bowl and mix with the vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and cumin. Rub the garlic mixture on the outside of the chicken. Whisk the soy sauce and sugar together and brush on the outside of the bird. Tuck the wings under the back. Set a V-rack or regular rack in a roasting pan and brush with the oil.

Place the chicken breast side down on the rack and roast until the back is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and turn the chicken breast side up. Baste the chicken with the pan drippings and continue to roast until the breast is golden brown and a meat thermometer in the thigh registers 170 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let it rest 10 minutes before carving.

Serve with Aji Verde sauce.

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