Caribbean Mango-Rum Chicken

17 Feb

No money for warm weather travel? No worries, man. Whip up some luscious Caribbean comfort food instead. Caribbean Mango-Rum Chicken is a tasty choice and it comes from one of my favourite cookbooks — Monda Rosenberg’s Chatelaine Food Express Quickies Chicken [McClelland & Stewart Inc., Toronto, 2000]. Other than herbs and spices you may have on hand, the only “exotic” ingredient you’ll need is a 1 cup (250 mL) of mango nectar.

Caribbean Mango-Rum Chicken and Caribbean Rice and 'Peas'

Caribbean Mango-Rum Chicken and Caribbean Rice and ‘Peas’

The whole 3 lb chicken fryer is a savvy single essential in this house. The little bird is just right for sharing supper with a friend or two or for supply the busy single person with delicious poultry for sandwiches, salads, fajitas or soups later in the week.

Bought on sale — these days that’s about $ 2.00 CDN/lb — the fryer is a frugal option. Just make sure you buy one in the 3  – 4 pound range to make it a worthwhile effort. Any smaller and you’ll have more bones than meat.

Start by checking the chicken’s cavities. Between the legs you may find some the chicken’s organ meats (which I sometimes use for gravy, but you won’t need for this recipe). Between the wings, you may find the neck tucked into that cavity. Unless you have the acquired taste for these parts of the chicken, discard into your compost bin.

Run cold water over the bird’s skin, between its legs and body and through the cavities. Pat dry with paper towels. I was lucky; this time my fryer was already trussed with kitchen/butcher’s twine. If yours isn’t, tie the legs together at their ‘ankles’ in front of the larger cavity. Since this recipe doesn’t call for a stuffing or cavity seasoning, you avoid the need for skewering the cavities closed.

3 lb+ Fryer chicken after 1 hour of roasting with dry spice rub.

3 lb+ Fryer chicken after 1 hour of roasting with dry spice rub.

Set a rack into a roasting pan. Spray both the pan and the rack with oil (you’ll thank me at clean-up time). Preheat your oven to 375 F.

You’ll be roasting the chicken breast-side up. Bend the wings under the bird, so they rest against its back and under the bird on the rack. This may require a bit of bone manipulation so be brave and force it. The idea is to prevent the wing tips from burning and drying out and to create a slightly flatter platform for your roasting chicken.

Caribbean Mango-Rum Chicken                                    Serves: 4

Prep Time: 10 minutes    Roasting Time: > 1.5 hours   Cooking Time: 5 min

Ingredients:

This recipe calls for a dry spice rub. In a tiny bowl or ramekin, whisk together:

  • 1 tsp        poultry seasoning
  • 1 tsp        curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp    cayenne (optional, but I used it)

I had no pre-mixed poultry seasoning on hand, so I created my own poultry seasoning using herbs I had on hand. Into a 1/2 cup mason jar (or empty spice jar) measure:

  • 3 parts         thyme
  • 2 parts         sage
  • 2 parts         marjoram (oregano can serve as a substitute)
  • 1 part            rosemary
  • 1 part            pepper

Use 1 tsp of this mixture in place of the poultry seasoning in the Caribbean chicken recipe.

Rub the dry spice mixture into the skin of a

  • 3 lb (1.5 kg)       whole fryer chicken

Roast uncovered for 1 hour in the pre-heated 375 F oven.

Remove the chicken after one hour and overtop of the well-browned skin, pour:

  • 1/4 cup               mango nectar
So juicy after 30 minutes of basting with mango nectar-pan juices

So juicy after 30 minutes of basting with mango nectar-pan juices

Continue roasting, uncovered, for 30 minutes more (or until an instant read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reaches 180 F). Baste the bird every 15 minutes with the pan juices (a mixture of the mango nectar and liquid and fat from the chicken). A turkey baster is great to have for this task. Suck up the pan juices into tube of the baster by squashing the ball. Then squirt the juice over the skin of the chicken. Repeat until you have moistened all visible parts of the bird.

Pour out pan juices, skim off fat. Have chutney and rum at the ready

Pour out pan juices, skim off fat. Have chutney and rum at the ready

 

When the chicken has cooked, remove it to a cutting board and tent loosely with foil to keep warm. Pour the pan juices into a heat-proof measuring cup and skim off the fat.

 

 

 

Return the juices to the roasting pan. Place the roasting pan on a burner (or two depending on the size of your roast pan) set at medium heat.

Bring juices to a boil, scraping up brown bits from roaster. Add mango nectar

Bring juices to a boil, scraping up brown bits from roaster. Add mango nectar

 

 

Using a whisk, scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of your roaster as the pan juices come to a boil.  Add:

  • 3/4 cup        mango nectar

and whisk well to combine, allowing the liquid to cook a few minutes.

 

 

 

Add 2 Tbsp chutney and 1 Tbsp rum. Whisk to combine.

Add 2 Tbsp chutney and 1 Tbsp rum. Whisk to combine.

 

Stir in:

  • 2 Tbsp          chutney (mango would be an obvious choice, but I had some church bazaar peach-raisin chutney on hand)
  • 1 Tbsp (or more)            amber or spiced rum

 

Carve chicken to serve. When the sauce is well combined, pour into a small jug or creamer and pass to serve over chicken. For a side dish, consider preparing a dish of Caribbean rice and ‘peas’ (post to follow) and some tangy coleslaw or a crisp salad.

Complete your supper with a tangy coleslaw or crisp salad. A cold Lucky Stripe would be nice or a medium- bodied, slightly spicy Pinot Noir.

Complete your supper with a tangy coleslaw or crisp salad. A cold Lucky Stripe would be nice or a medium bodied, slightly spicy Pinot Noir.

Turn up the heat, put on some shorts and find your Bob Marley collection. Feeling all warm and relaxed, eh? Can’t you feel the Caribbean breeze on your face?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to “Caribbean Mango-Rum Chicken”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Simple Caribbean Rice and “Peas” « Savvy Single Suppers - February 18, 2013

    […] Chicken recommends serving the Caribbean Mango-Rum Chicken with Caribbean Rice and Peas (see chicken recipe here). Silly me, I was all set to steam some rice and add a handful of green peas at the end of the […]

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