Cinnamon-roasted Chicken with Rustic Pan Sauce
Using cinnamon, Robert Del Grande creates a rich south-of-the-border flavor for roasted chicken. While making the sauce, do not allow the temperature of the chicken to drop below 120• F; if you work along smoothly, your chicken will stay hot until you cut it to return it to the sauce. Chef Del Grande suggests serving this with roasted potatoes, creamy mashed potatoes, polenta, or white grits.
- Chickens - One whole (3 lb)
- Cinnamon - 1 teaspoon ground
- Chili powder - 1/2 teaspoon
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Fresh-cracked black pepper - 1/4 teaspoon
- Corn tortillas - 1, cut in quarters
- Plum Tomatoes - 2 plum, quartered lengthwise
- White Onion - 1/4, roughly chopped
- Garlic - 4 cloves
- Wild Mushrooms - 2 oz, stemmed and chopped
- Pasilla Chilies - 2, stemmed and seeded
- Pumpkin Seeds - 1/4 cups
- Olive Oil - 2 to 3 tablespoons
- Chicken Stock - 2 cups (alt. water)
- Brown Sugar - 2 teaspoon
Preheat the oven to 350 F. With a sharp, heavy knife, split the chicken down the back. Open the chicken, place the bone side down, and press firmly to flatten. To secure the legs in place, make two slits in the skin on each side of the bird near the tail, and tuck the end of the legs through the holes.
Combine the cinnamon, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Brush the chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and rub the chicken with the spice mixture.
In an oven-proof skillet large enough to hold the chicken, evenly spread the tortilla pieces, tomatoes, onion, garlic, wild mushrooms, pasilla chilies, and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the vegetables. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Roast for 1 hour. The juices of the chicken will run clear.
Remove the chicken from the pan. Brush with some of the pan juices and keep warm. Add the chicken stock to the bottom of the pan and stir up the ingredients and browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Transfer the ingredients and juice to a blender. Puree for 30 seconds, until smooth. Return to the pan and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low and simmer 15 – 30 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick, thin with more stock or water.
To serve: Cut the chicken into 8 pieces (2 legs, 2 thighs, and split each breast into 2 pieces). Put the chicken back into the sauce to be gently warmed. When warm, spoon chicken and sauce onto warmed serving plates.