Our friends served this Spicy Salt-Rubbed Chicken at a dinner party and I couldn't wait to get the recipe!
Thanks goodness my friend is a recipe-sharer!
The original recipe is from Martha Stewart from her Menus for Entertaining. She was entertaining 30 people for this recipe so most of us would need to pro-rate it for our every day purposes! The recipe below will work for 2 - 3 lb chickens which would serve about 6-8 people.
- This recipe is great to make at this time of the year when we can still gather fresh herbs from our gardens. Oregano, thyme and rosemary are pretty commonly available but it might be a bit chancy to find all three in your supermarket in the dead of winter. If you need to fall back on dried herbs use half the amount of fresh.
- Be careful to use Kosher salt- it is coarse like coarse pickling salt. Do not substitute finer salt or it will not be edible.
- You have some options around the chicken. The original recipe quarters the chickens which is a good way to get the seasoning in contact with as much of the chicken as possible. Chicken pieces are easier to grill as well. So - your choice whether to roast whole or in parts.
- I chose to cook my chicken whole in the oven surrounded by potatoes and carrots to make a 1 dish meal. That way the marinade for the chicken also seasoned the potatoes and carrots. We loved it but if you are sensitive to spices then cook your vegetables separately so they will contrast the taste of the chicken.
- Leftovers (if you have any!) keep well in the fridge for 2-3 days.
Wine Pairing for Spicy Salt-Rubbed Chicken
The savoury herbs in this dish make it a great candidate to pair with an oaked Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc. Italian whites like Soave or Lugana with their herbal notes would also be a great choice.
On the red spectrum a Bordeaux blend or Old World Cabernet Sauvignon with their notes of cedar and thyme would work well. A Cab Franc or Carmenère would also be intersting choices.
Spicy Salt-Rubbed Chicken
- 2 3 lb chickens
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup fresh oregano (recommended) finely chopped (use 2 Tbsps if using dried herbs)
- ¼ cup fresh rosemary (recommended) finely chopped, (use 2 Tbsps if using dried herbs)
- ¼ cup fresh thyme leaves (recommended) finely chopped, (use 2 Tbsps if using dried herbs)
- 4 Tbsps kosher salt
- 2 Tbsps coarsely ground black pepper
- 12 medium yellow potatoes peeled
- 12 large carrots peeled and cut into 4" lengths
- Wash the chicken(s) and pat dry.
- Combine all the spices, lemon and olive oil in a resealable bag and marinate chicken for 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large roasting pan with cooking spray.
- Arrange potatoes and carrots in a layer in the bottom of the pan. Arrange the chicken(s) over the vegetables with space between them. Allow bit of the marinade to drain over the vegetables just enough to coat them. Discard the rest of the marinade.
- Roast uncovered 20 minutes per pound plus 15 minutes. (If your chickens are 3 lbs each it will be 75 minutes total). If you are using a meat thermometer it should read 165 degrees F when inserted into the inner thigh. Be careful not to touch the bone.
- Baste chickens part way through the roasting process.
- Remove chickens from oven and loosely cover them with foil. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.