Caribbean Spice Stuffed Chicken
When Meeta called for a Caribbean dish for her Monthly Mingle, I had to participate, moreso as it gave me an opportunity to try out a dish from the land of one of my favorite bloggers, Cynthia of Tastes Like Home!!
I have always been fascinated by the whole/rotisserie chicken on display in restaurants, streets of China town, and now in countless stores like Whole Foods, Safeway, Costco and the like. It seemed daunting to be able cook an entire chicken in your own kitchen! And what does one do with so much chicken I wondered. Oh well, try one must, so I decided to take the plunge, and am thrilled I did. So what if it took 2 days and a whole lot of friends to help finish the chicken...all seems justified in the world of culinary pursuits :D
Actually now that I think of it, making whole chicken and then using it in a sandwich, biryani, taco or pasta is a GREAT money and time saving tip! And in these crazy economic times, this is a fantastic way of pushing the $$s further!
The chicken came out perfect....moist yet crispy, and oh so tasty! I followed this recipe pretty closely, with the exception that I stuffed the chicken with wild rice and potatoes to make it a more wholesome meal.
1. 1 (3 pound) whole chicken
2. 1 tbsp olive oil
3. 1/2 tsp ground ginger
4. 1 tbsp brown sugar
5. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6. 1/4 tsp ground clove
7. 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
8 tsp black pepper
9. 1/2 tsp salt
10. 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves or 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
11. 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
12. 2 ounces rum
13. 2 cups pre-cooked wild rice (optional). I get my wild rice from Trader Joe's
14. 1 cup potatoes (optional), diced and pre-cooked
15. 6 lemon slices for the garnish (optional)
16. 7-8 grapes for the garnish (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
2. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, rum, and brown sugar; set aside. Mix together the cayenne pepper, clove, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, salt, and thyme leaves.
3. Remove and discard giblets and neck from the chicken and trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen the skin from breasts and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.
4. Rub the Caribbean spice mix under the loosened skin and over breasts and drumsticks. Stuff the rice and potato mixture in chicken cavity. Tie the ends of the legs together with twine. Lift the wing tips up and over back and tuck them under chicken. Place chicken, breast side up, on a roasting pan coated with cooking spray
5. Place the pan in the oven for about 90 minutes, until the juices run clear or until a meat thermometer inserted in center of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F. Allow chicken to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
6. Garnish with fresh thyme, grapes and lemon slices
Tip: Baste the chicken with the sauce every 20 minutes while it's cooking