17 October 2007

Orange-Roasted Chicken on Tossed Greens

This recipe is from my copy of Celebrating the Midwestern Table, and is actually an older recipe I hadn't posted yet (I still don't have an oven). What I like about it is that - even though it might appear a bit complicated - it is very easy to put together, and really is a full meal: you've got lots of flavorful, juicy chicken meat along with a healthy, filling salad (all in one!).

And also, I am very much a cheap-lettuce kinda girl. Hubs loves the healthy (weird) mixed fancy greens, but I need the crunch of iceburg or romaine to enjoy a salad. That being said: I have finally, finally found a recipe where I actually ENJOY those strange bitter fancy greens that he loves so much.

Orange-Roasted Chicken on Tossed Greens

1 broiler chicken, about 2 1/2 lbs., split and with the backbone removed
Salt and pepper to taste
6 large cloves of garlic, split
3 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed (about half a can)
3/4 c. chicken stock
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 small fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into a small dice (about 1 1/2 c.)
2 1/2 c. mixed salad greens

Put oven rack in the center of the oven; preheat th eoven to 450 F. Line a shallow roasting pan with foil. Set aside.

Sprinkle the entire surface of the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the chicken, skin side up, in a single layer in the prepared pan. Scatter the garlic in the pan.

Roast the chicken for 30 min. Meanwhile, combine the orange juice concentrate, stock, vinegar, and cayenne pepper in a small mixing bowl. After 30 minutes, remove the chicken from the oven and pour this mixture into the pan. Continue to roast, basting the chicken often (about every 10 min.) with the pan juices as they cook and thicken, until the chicken is well browned and cooked through, about 30 minutes longer.

Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a heated platter; tent with foil. Put the pan juices and garlic in a fat-skimming cup or small dish. Remove all of the fat. Mix the garlic and skimmed juices in a blender or food processor until the garlic is pureed.

Transfer the garlic mixture to a small pan, adding a little water if needed (you want the sauce the consistency of heavy cream). Add the fennel to the pan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and salt/pepper as needed.

To serve: cut the chicken into serving portions. Place the chilled greens in a large bowl. Toss the greens with the sauce and fennel, reserving a few tablespoons. Spoon the reserved sauce over the chicken. Serve hot.

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