Sunday, November 22, 2009

SUNDAYS WITH MARLENA SPIELER

This week I decided to do the ROASTED CHICKEN WITH GRAPES AND FRESH GINGER ROOT. I've been looking at the picture of this dish in cookbook every since we got the book. Now that we are making a few festive dishes it was just the opportunity to make this. It is sweet, savory and was inspired by Moraccan flavors and all I can say is WOW. The recipe is a bit involved but not too bad.It turned out amazing and the flavors just pop. So far this has to be an all time favorite..it is worth the effort.

Roasted Chicken with Grapes and Fresh Ginger

1 whole chicken
41/2 oz fresh ginger root, grated
6-8 cloves garlic, rough chopped
juice of one lemon
about 2Tbs olive oil
2-3 large pinches of ground cinnamon
1lb seedless red and green grapes (if grapes are large use only 1/2lb)
1lb seeless green grapes (if grapes are large use only 1/2llb)
5-7 shallots, chopped
1C chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
carrots, parsnips, potatoes, optional
combine in a small bowl half of the ginger, garlic,1/2 the lemon juice,olive oil,cinnamon, salt and lots of pepper. Rub chicken inside and out with this mixture, place chicken in a dish and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. In the mean time cut the red and green grapes in half or quarters depending on size. Add the whole green grapes to the halved ones.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat a heavy frying pan or flame proof casserole until hot. Remvoe the chicken from the marinate, scrape off as much of the ginger garlic mixture as possible,place the chicken into the pan and cook turning until all sides are browned. If there is not enough fat from the chicken to brown it add a little vegetable oil. After all sides are browned put 1/4 of the shallots into the chicken cavity with the ginger and garlic from the marinade and as many grapes as you can stuff in there. I used a pick to close te cavity. I also added cut up carrots and parsnips to the roasting pan. Roast the chicken in the oven for about 60-90 minutes or until juices run clear when the thigh area is pricked.
Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm. Pour off any of the oil from the pan. Add the remaining shallots and cook until tender about 5 min. (if you do not have a flame proof roasting pan, saute the shallots in a frying pan. Add a little of the chicken stock to the roasting pan and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom, save. Add half the remaining grapes, remaining ginger,the stock and and any juices from the chicken and any of the brown bits that were saved from the roasting pan. Cook over medium heat unti the grapes have cooked down and a thick sauce has formed. Season with salt and pepper and the remaining lemon juice to taste. If you want, you can also use the grapes and ginger/shallot mixture that was stuffed into the cavity. I added them to the sauce with a little more stock and let it all cook down and thicken again, adjust seasonings.
Carve chicken and serve with sauce. Couscous mixed with chickpeas would be good served with the chicken.

Don't forget to check the recipes at Cooking Schmooking and Sacramento Spice for more festive recipes.

Marlena's cookbooks are available at Amazon.

2 comments:

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

I'm so not a cook. I can't imagine grapes going with chicken, but now you've opened my eyes to a new flavor combo. I'm grabbing that woman's book as soon as I see it! And that chicken looks delish!!!

Melly/Melody/or Mel said...

You gotta order the book from Amazon. Get her mac n cheese while you are at it!

Eileen...those grapes must add moisture and you said the sauce was to die for. I am making this for sure!

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