Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken

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Large bins of pumpkins are starting to pop up around town. They all say, “it’s Harvest time!” and I personally like their chipper. After a successful fundraiser in Center City Park (with many many pumpkin) I had my own personal kick off to Fall with this recipe for Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken. My friend Jessica sent this recipe to me last year in honor of the Jewish holidays. We celebrated late (at an absolutely inappropriate time) but with good intentions.

I skipped the boiling of the marinade and blanching of lemons for the sake of time and laziness. I chucked the marinade and lemons into a bag for about 5 hours before roasting. Add onion, dates and carrots and roast away. This dish has great flavor and leaves the house in a desire for a fire and blankets.

Sweet and Spicy Roast Chicken from the NY Times

  • 1 lemon, plus 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more for pot
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezedorange juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons whole grain mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  •   Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 4-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 3 cups sliced carrots (1/4-inch thick)
  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
  •  cup sliced dates
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted pistachio nuts, for garnish
  1. Quarter the lemon lengthwise, removing any seeds. Thinly slice crosswise into small wedges and add to small pot of boiling, salted water. Blanch for 2 minutes and drain. Reserve slices.
  2. In a saucepan, whisk together lemon juice, orange juice, oil, mustard, honey, salt, bay leaf, red pepper flakes and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Put chicken in a bowl and add honey mixture. Add carrots, onion, dates, thyme and blanched lemon slices. Turn mixture several times to coat. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, but preferably overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Transfer all ingredients, including marinade, to a sheet pan with a rim. Chicken should be skin side up. Roast until chicken is browned and cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes for breasts and 30 to 40 for legs and wings (remove the pieces as they are done cooking). When the chicken is done, give the carrot mixture in the pan a stir; if the pan looks dry add 2 to 3 tablespoons water. Continue roasting the carrots until they are tender, about 7 to 12 minutes longer.
  5. Spoon carrots over chicken and top with cilantro, scallions and pistachio nuts.

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