Whether it’s for regular family meals, parties or holidays, there is no doubt that roasted is one of the main dishes that is usually on the menu. I like to use a method called “sudar” which means “sweating” to pre-cook the chicken. It’s a wonderful method that infuses the bird with lots of flavor from the marinade.
To make this recipe you will need the following ingredients:
1 Whole Chicken
1 tsp Ground Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Aji Gustoso
1/2 Cup Vinegar (optional)
4 Bay Leaves
2 tbsp Olive Oil
To begin, take the chicken out of the package and make sure to remove the giblets from the inside if it has some. You can discard the giblets or cook them in the dish if you are fond of them (like me ), the chicken I’m cooking today is about 6 lbs,
Rinse the chicken with some fresh water, then add 1/2 cup of vinegar and some water, let it soak for a few minutes,
After letting it soak, rinse the chicken with some fresh water. When cleaning the chicken make sure to rinse the inside as well, then drain it,
Put the chicken in a large container to begin to season it. Add 1 tsp of salt,
Then 1/2 tsp ground black pepper,
Then add 1 tsp of ground oregano,
You can add the bay leaves later when it’s time to “sweat” the chicken. But I usually add them to the marinade so I don’t forget to add them later on,
Then add 1 tbsp of olive oil,
Add the garlic cloves finely chopped or mashed,
Then squeeze the juice of both limes over the chicken,
I like to add one aji gustoso to the marinade because it gives the chicken a nice punch of flavor,
They can be found easily in the Spanish grocery stores and some supermarkets carry them as well. If you can’t find them, just omit it from the dish (or use a piece of cubanelle pepper), just make sure to get the ones that are not really hot (they are usually red). Remove the seeds and finely chop the chile, then add it to the chicken,
After adding all of the ingredients, rub everything on the chicken (if you have disposable gloves use them, it will be less messy),
Make sure to rub the marinade on both sides as well as inside the chicken,
Once the chicken is marinated, let it hang out for atleast an hour so that it can absorb the flavors of the marinade. If you are in a rush, you can cook it immediately because the “sweating” process will infuse lots of flavor into the bird. I usually marinate it the night before I cook it for better flavor,
To begin the cooking process, take a large pot and add 1 tbsp of olive oil, put it on high heat.
Let the oil get really hot (until it starts to smoke), then add the chicken breast side down and let it sear for about 4 – 5 minutes.
Then flip the chicken over to the other side, don’t panic if the skin breaks a little,
Let the second side sear for another 4 minutes or so, then add the liquid from the marinade and the giblets.
Stir the chicken to make sure it’s not stuck to the bottom of the pot, then cover it, put the heat on medium high and let it “sweat” for about 35 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, take a roasting pan (I HIGHLY recommend the roasting pan that has a rack inside to hold the bird), line it with aluminum foil for easier cleanup,
Turn the oven on to 400 degrees, after 35 minutes of “sweating” the chicken, take it out of the pot and place it on the roasting pan. I usually remove it from the pot by sticking a large spoon inside the chicken lifting it out,
Do not discard the juices in the pot that are left over,
After placing the bird on the roasting rack, pour some of the juices over it,
Then place in the oven (make sure the oven has reached the temperature of 400 degrees) and let it roast for about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes (if you want a darker bird).
If you have a timer, set it to 15 minutes, then when times up, pull the chicken out and baste it with the juices from the pot, make sure to pour some over the giblets as well,
Then set the timer for another 15 minutes, after times up baste the chicken a second time (at this point it’s been cooking for 30 minutes),
Then set the timer for another 15 minutes, when times up baste the chicken for the third time (at this point it’s been roasting for 45 minutes),
Then let it bake for another 15 minutes (at this point it’s been roasting for 1 hour), by now it should be thoroughly cooked, one way to verify is with a meat thermometer and checking the temperature in the thickest part of the breast (it should read 180 degrees). Another way of checking is to cut a small piece and check to ensure the juices run clear.
If you want a darker bird, let it bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes. Keep in mind the longer you cook it, the drier the breast meat will become, therefore, be careful not to overcook the chicken,
After taking it out of the oven, cover it with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes (do not cut it right away so the juices don’t seep out),
While the chicken is resting, if you have some left over drippings in the pot you can make a gravy. This is completely optional and there are several ways to make the gravy, but this is method I prefer.
Take the left over drippings,
Add it to a small saucepan, then add 1 tsp of cornstarch that has been dissolved in some cold water,
Let it come up to a boil and you’ll notice how thick it begins to get, then add some chicken stock to thin it out, if you don’t have chicken stock, you can use a small piece of a chicken bouillon (don’t use a whole one) and add some water to dissolve it. Add the liquid slowly to make the gravy as thick or as thin as you prefer,
Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking, if you have some fresh or dried cilantro, add some to the gravy for extra flavor. Turn the heat off after letting it cook for a few minutes,
Then pour the gravy through a strainer to make sure that the gravy is smooth with a velvety texture,
You can serve the gravy on the side, or you can pour it under the roasted chicken on the serving platter (like I did below),
Put some lime wedges on the sides of the chicken for a lovely presentation,
The chicken comes out moist, tender and flavorful every time! Serve it with your favorite sides and it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, yum!