For dinner tonight we fused one of our normal comfort foods with some distinctly Mexican flavors. We’re eating juicy roasted chicken marinated in a lime-y cilantro and parsley pesto filled with flavors of freshly toasted cumin, chile powder, and lots of minced fresh garlic. This brightly flavored chicken was accompanied by cumin and chile spiced polenta and brussels sprouts roasted with the juicy, flavorful tidbits left on the pan from the chicken. The entire dish was garnished with a drizzle of cilantro/parsley pesto.
T: damn. that chicken was good. Mmm Mmm MMmmm. It was outrageously good. I’m outraged.
A: hell yeah! scream it my brother. isn’t that what people do when they’re outraged? scream? AAAAGGGGHHH! i’m outraged too. it really was quite good. it was a definite stray from my “normal” roasted chicken.
T: yes it was. Your roasted chicken is always juicy and badass tasting, but this was a notch up. It had the essence of Mexican food, but wasn’t really Mexican at all. And the grits/polenta went with it beautifully. The brussels sprouts weren’t quite up to the deliciousness level of the other items, but they were tasty nonetheless. I give the meal a 4.79/5. It could have gotten a slightly higher score if the brussels sprouts had matched the glory of the chicken and polenta, but, still, it was very very good.
A: i’m gonna have to agree. the sprouts were damn good. nice and crunchy and roasted with the chicken juices and all the tasty leftover pan bits. if they had been with any other roasted chicken they would have been rocking, but man! the chicken and polenta really did go well together. this was the first time i’ve ever marinated the chicken before roasting it. normally i just make an herby butter or olive oil mix and rub it under the skin and roast that bitch. but this time, i made the cilantro/parsley pesto then took half of it, mixed it with some extra garlic and lime then let the chicken marinate in that for an hour. it really worked out well. for the polenta i just added some freshly ground cumin, chile powder, and red pepper flakes for seasoning to match the chicken. I give the meal tonight a 4.67/5. tasty… daaaaamn tasty.
T: Damn tasty. I guess the next question would be… where’s the flan?
A: heheheh 😛 at Ortega’s a block away! lord knows i ain’t making no dang flan tonight!
T: no, you aren’t, but it would go great with this meal I think. One thing that was good about this meal was that it was mexicany without being as heavy as Mexican food tends to be. I actually have room for flan, whereas normally I can’t eat for like 12 hours after Mexican food.
A: perhaps it was the lack of cheese in the meal. or the missing chips and salsa appetizer!
T: ahhh that is a good point. usually I’m full before the meal even gets to the table, and then I proceed to stuff my face.
A: but with this meal you can proceed to stuff your face with beer afterwards, rather than chips before hand.
T: Well I do that anyway.
A: that’s hard to do when we don’t have any! beer run anyone?
T: Â¡Si si!
1 3-4lbs whole young chicken, neck and giblets saved for another purpose
1/2 cup cilantro/parsley pesto (recipe follows)
1 lime, zest and juice for the marinade, leftover lime halves for the cavity
2 tbsp minced garlic
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
In a large ziploc bag or mixing bowl combine the pesto, lime juice and zest, and garlic. Mix until thoroughly blended. Rinse the whole chicken, inside and out, under cold water then pat dry with paper towels. Add the chicken to the ziploc bag with the marinade. Rub the marinade both under and on top of the skin of the chicken, making sure to get a good coat of the marinade inside the cavity as well. Allow the chicken to marinate for 1 hour. While the chicken is marinating, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the chicken from the marinade after one hour then rub the chicken liberally with kosher salt and black pepper - again both under and on top of the skin, as well as inside the cavity. Stuff the leftover lime halves into the cavity of the chicken then place it on to a roasting pan, breast-side down. Place the roasting pan into a preheated 450 degree oven. Roast the chicken at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Continue roasting the chicken at 350 degrees for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until an thermometer inserted into the fleshy part of the thigh reads 170 degrees. Times will vary depending on the weight of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the oven. Loosely cover the chicken with aluminum foil and allow the chicken to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. This chicken goes great served with extra cilantro/parsley pesto as a sauce. Enjoy!
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp pine nuts
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
juice and zest from 1 lime
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
1/2 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Add the garlic cloves and pine nuts to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the garlic and pine nuts until they are thoroughly minced. Add the cilantro, parsley, lime juice and zest, red wine vinegar, cumin seeds, chile powder, and red pepper flakes to the bowl of the processor. Turn the processor on low. Allow it to run for several seconds before slowly drizzling in enough olive oil while the food processor is running to create a nicely viscous pesto. After all of the olive oil has been added, season the pesto with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.