ROASTED CHICKEN WITH ORANGE SAUCE (Spanish pollo asado con salsa de naranja, for four)
For the chicken:
a 3-1/2 pound chicken
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and halved lengthwise
salt (about 1 tablespoon)
freshly ground black pepper
1 orange, halved
For the orange sauce:
¾ cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
5 teaspoons powdered sugar
3-1/2 teaspoons vinegar
finely grated rind and juice of 2 oranges (about ¾ cup juice)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
potato salad Valenciana to accompany
1. Roast the chicken. Preheat the oven to 450*.
2. Prepare the chicken for roasting. Remove the giblets from the cavity and either discard them or reserve them for another use. Rinse the chicken inside and out under cold tap water and pat it thoroughly dry with paper towels. Remove any excess fat from the bird, tuck the flap of skin at the neck end under and fold the wings akimbo.
3. Rub the chicken inside and out with the garlic cloves and toss them into the cavity. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt and black pepper inside the cavity and over the bird. Squeeze the orange halves over the bird, and stuff one of the halves into the bird (if your bird is large and the other half will also fit into the cavity, use it as well). Truss the chicken by crossing the drumsticks and tying them together with kitchen twine, then looping the twine around the “bishops nose” and tying again to the drumsticks. Brush the chicken with olive oil.
4. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up, put it into the oven and roast, preferably in an oval earthenware dish, for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 400* and continue to roast the chicken for another 50 minutes, basting occasionally, until it is tender and golden (the skin should be crisp and the juices should run clear when the bird is pierced with a sharp knife). Remove to a warm platter and let stand 10 minutes while you complete the sauce.
5. Make the orange sauce. Pour off the fat from the roasting pan, leaving the juices. Add ¼ cup of the chicken broth and deglaze the pan. Reserve this liquid.
6. In a medium skillet, place 4-1/2 teaspoons of the sugar and heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar caramelizes. Remove the pan from the flame and add 3 teaspoons of the vinegar, the orange rind and juice, the remaining ½ cup of broth and the reserved deglazed pan juices. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of sugar and the remaining ½ teaspoon vinegar. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.
7. Dissolve the cornstarch in water. Add it to the sauce and cook until thickened and smooth, stirring constantly. Spoon some of the sauce over the bird and serve the remainder alongside.
adapted from Penelope Casas, The Foods and Wines of Spain