Gluten Free Orange & Parsley Whole Roast Chicken

Monday, February 4, 2013

Whenever I go back home to North Carolina or speak to any of my friends from the States, someone always asks me about the food in the UK. Of course, straight away, everyone thinks of fish and chips, bangers and mash, mushy peas and trifles. And while I do love all those (except mushy peas!), they're not really one of the things that stands out to me about British cuisine.

For me, there's nothing better than a proper Sunday roast dinner. It's a concept that doesn't really exist in America, while in the south we do have our usual big Sunday dinners and roast tends to refer to pot roast, not an oven cooked roast bird.

In fact, I don't think I ever had roast chicken until I came to England. Sure, I'd had rotisserie chicken and it's kind of the same, but I'd never had chicken like this. Since my first experience with a proper Sunday roast, I've been trying dozens of different recipes, recreating this classic dish. The latest effort is a juicy, fragrant chicken filled with fresh orange, garlic and parsley.

1 whole chicken, large enough to feed your family
1 navel orange, halved
1 tbsp parsley
1 bulb of garlic, stalk copped off to expose the cloves
salt and pepper
butter or margarine

Alright, let's cook!
To prepare your chicken, go ahead and remove the twine trussing it together, so you can really get at the bird. If you want to retruss it (you don't have to), save it. If not, chuck it in the bin.

Squeeze one half of the orange onto the skin of the chicken, rubbing the orange against the chicken, too. Once done, place this half, the garlic, parsley and seasoning into the cavity of the chicken. Next, slather the bird in butter. I mean really coat it. Get your elbows out and really work it in. Take the remaining orange half and squeeze it over the butter and place this in the cavity as well.

Cook the chicken according to the packet instructions, but a medium sized chicken should take about an hour on a preheated oven set to 200c/400f. Once the juices run clear will pierced with a skewer, you'll know it's cooked. Remove from the roasting pan and leave on a cutting board to roast.

Pour the juices from the pan into a saucepan and simmer until reduced by about 2/3s. Add a splash or two of pulp-free orange juice and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve with your favorite vegetables and Yorkshire puddings or crescent rolls.

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