Our first test from Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook was more than a success. It was delicious. There are two recipes here, one for the chicken which involves the second, a House Rub that you can use and use again. The range for the rub is far beyond chicken.
The header for this recipe says to go old. Get an old chicken if you can, old and free range. The “normal” chicken in your store is really a baby, fed well for six week and then given the axe. A free range chicken, with some months of wandering about on its resume, will give you the better flavor
The recipe calls for cooking this on a smoker. We did smoke, using our Cameron stovetop smoker with apple wood. Our chicken was thick so Suzen did the splitting job. The chicken did not suffer.
The Pitt Cue Co boys suggests that this dish be served with their special Iceberg Salad and Anchovy Salad Cream. Recipes shall appear here promptly. In the meantime, do look for a copy of Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook and prepare to be pleasantly surprised. Yes, the authors are British. Yes, they know how to barbeque, really know.
Whole Spicy Smoked Roast Chicken
Yield: serves 3 to 4
- 3 tablespoons chipotle chili paste [the adobo paste in the can]
- ½ stick unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 ¾ ounces roasted garlic paste [roast garlic and mash it up]
- Heaping ¼ cup House Rub [recipe follows]
- 1 free range chicken, about 3 ¼ pounds
Blitz the chipotle chili paste, butter, maple syrup, roasted garlic paste, and house rub in a blender to a paste. Make slashes about ½ inch deep into the thighs of the chicken with a sharp knife, then rub the chicken thoroughly inside and out with the paste. Put it into a dish, cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
Prepare a barbeque for smoking [see the book pages 114-115 for details, another reason to buy the book].
Put the chicken , breast-side up, into a roasting pan that will fit inside your barbeque and smoke/roast for 1 ½ hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 158°F and juices run clear when the chicken is bricked with a knife at the thickest point of the thigh area.
Remove the chicken from barbeque and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Source: Pitt Cue Co.: The Cookbook by The Boys at Pitt Cue
Photo Information [top]: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4 for 1/20th second at ISO-3200
Yield: 10 ½ ounces
- 1 ½ tablespoons fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- ⅓ cup fine salt
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- ¼ cup regular paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
Toast the fennel seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns, and coriander seed in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan, until the spices release an aroma. Tip into a bowl and let cool.
Blitz the toasted spices in a blender to a rough powder. Combine with the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Keep in a sealed container for up to 1 week.
Chicken tends to taste, well, like chicken. Actually, there are chicken options that I hope you can explore. If you can get a real, honest, free range chicken that was carefully managed and cultivated, then you are in for a flavor treat. You can find those chickens in Paris. Everywhere in Paris. Or sometimes at some upstate farmers markets in New York state.
The “typical” grocery store chicken will taste just as familiar as the last one. It’s okay. It’s not exceptional.
It’s time to think of chicken as a platform for flavor, something with an underlying basic taste that needs boosting for a satisfying meal. Where else to turn for inspiration but North Africa in a recipe crafted in an historic restaurant in Rhinebeck, New York?
The sauce that you see in the picture does cloak the chicken but it is not gooey. Nor overpoweringly spicy. True, there is the underlying fragrance from the garam masala et all, now amplified by the sweetness of the jelly and orange zest.
Just barely showing the chicken above, you will see accompaniments of couscous and cucumbers. This combo provides flavor and texture contrasts to the chicken that you will relish. Recipes for both these additions will appear in the coming days!
The chicken flavor? Well, it’s chicken. But, really good chicken.
Moroccan Spiced Chicken
Yield: serves 4
- 2 ¼ teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
- 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (3 pounds)
- ½ cup tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup finely chopped shallots or red onion
- 1 cup chicken broth
- ¼ cup red currant jelly
- 4 tablespoons orange juice
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Zest of 1 orange – removed in wide strips
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a large bowl, combine the salt, garam masala, sugar, ginger, cardamom, and pepper. Use 1 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil to form a runny paste. Add the chicken and rub the spice mixture onto the skin and under it as well. Dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess.
In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the dredged chicken to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until browned. Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate covered with foil.
Add the garlic and shallots to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the broth, jelly, orange juice, red pepper flakes, and orange zest and bring to a boil. Return to the chicken to the pan, cover, and place in the oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked to 165° F.
Sources: The 1802 Beekman Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook
Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/25th second at ISO-3200