Orange Ginger Roasted Chicken

Roasted chicken is such a staple for many people that I wanted to provide a zippy recipe that would avoid the all-too frequent pitfall of bland, dry results.  Here, I’ve replaced the common rosemary-thyme rub with ginger, orange zest, and cinnamon, which are also appetite stimulants.  Rubbing the spices under the skin, filling the cavity with more aromatics and orange juice, and then roasting the whole shebang makes for one moist, tasty bird! 

Serves 6

1 4 1/2- to 5-pound organic chicken
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
1 orange, zested and juiced, rind reserved
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, plus 1 finger-length piece of unpeeled fresh ginger, halved lengthwise
3 cloves garlic
2 cinnamon sticks

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Stir the paprika, coriander, and cinnamon together, then divide the mixture in half and stir 1 teaspoon of the salt into half. Rub the salted spice mixture all over the outside of the chicken. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt inside the chicken.

With your palm facing downward, use your first three fingers to gently lift the skin on both sides of the breast to loosen it from the meat. Rub the remaining spice mixture, the orange zest, and grated ginger under the skin of each breast, massaging them lightly into the meat. Place the garlic, cinnamon sticks, ginger pieces, and orange rind inside the cavity along with half of the orange juice.

Place the chicken on a roasting rack in a glass or ceramic baking dish, breast side up. Roast until a meat thermometer reads 160°F when inserted in the thigh and the juice from the meat runs clear, about 1 hour.

Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. Just before serving, pour the remaining orange juice over the chicken.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Storage: store in a covered container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. per serving: Calories: 215; total Fat: 5.1 g (1.3 g saturated, 1.5 g monounsaturated); Carbohydrates: 4 g; protein: 35 g; Fiber: 1 g; sodium: 715 mg

Reprinted with permission from The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery. Copyright © 2009 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.