Peruvian Style Roast Chicken with Roasted Garlic

By • February 25, 2010 24 Comments

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Author Notes: What's not to love about roast chicken? I have run the gamut cooking roast chicken from Marcella Hazan's Chicken with Two Lemons, Zuni Cafe's Dry Brined and Thomas Keller's high heat, no-fuss bird. Chef Keller taught me plenty, and it's with his excellent tutelage, I worked out this recipe. Peruvian style chicken was introduced to me at a hole in the wall lunch only spot in Virginia. It's been a favorite ever since. Leftovers, shredded, make a great quesadilla, taco or burrito filling.MrsWheelbarrow

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Serves 2 with leftovers

Buttermilk Soak

  • 3 cups buttermilk
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • one - 3 - 3.5 pounds chicken, rinsed and tidied up

Peruvian Style Rub

  • 1 medium head of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon hot Hungarian paprika or smoked paprika, or a combination. depends how spicy you like your chicken.
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 limes
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  1. Soak the chicken in the buttermilk brine for 3-4 hours. I use a ziplock bag as it's easier to get the buttermilk all around the chicken.
  2. Roast the head of garlic. Slice off the top of the head, exposing all the cloves. Drizzle the oil in between all the cloves, and wrap the whole thing up in foil. Bake for about an hour at 350. I use my toaster oven.
  3. Squeeze all the tasty roasted garlic out into a small mixing bowl. Add the butter and spices, and the juice of one of the limes, and make a paste.
  4. Remove the chicken & brine from the refrigerator. RInse the chicken and pat it dry. Rub the paste under the skin of the breast and thighs and then over the entire chicken. Tuck one or two quartered limes in the cavity and truss the chicken loosely.
  5. Allow the chicken to come to room temperature, and the paste to season the chicken, for about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 475 with the rack in the bottom third of the oven. In good weather, I use my outdoor gas grill as an oven. It heats up faster and hotter then the oven. Get out a heavy cast iron skillet.
  7. Heat the skillet for 3 minutes on high heat. Add a shimmer of canola or other oil and get that good and hot, too. Another minute or two.
  8. Slip in the chicken, back side down, into the skillet, and then place the skillet in the oven. (Or on the grill.)
  9. The chicken will take about 50 minutes to one hour. The only reliable test is a thermometer reading of 160.
  10. Remove the chicken from the oven/grill and put it on the stove, over high heat, and add thyme and 1/2 c chicken broth, then spoon the broth over the chicken. Allow the bird to rest for 10 minutes, then quarter and serve.
  11. I pair this chicken with rice spiked with green olives and toasted almonds and a roasted vegetable or lightly dressed salad.

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