One of the happiest things to be served sitting at the bar for me, is a fresh ice cold mojito. I had just such a happy moment last week @Jamie's Italian, yum. Our dinner there was lovely and I had spatchcoc chicken. This evening of bliss got me thinking... roast chicken recipes tend to work best when the chicken is kept moist and with three key flavour elements: citrus, slight sweetness and something happily alcoholic and fresh to deglaze the pan and create scrumptious gravy.
Sadly, when I got home (and googled it) I found that others had already had my idea. However, none of them seemed to go further than adding a bit of mint and lime to chicken. So...
call me crazy but I'm about to attempt a truly mojito flavoured roast chicken!
1 whole chicken (I used a 1.5kg bird), large of sprig mint, 4 limes, brown sugar, rum, 1 large onion, butter, salt and pepper.
Next, take 2 heaped spoons of softened butter and mix in the zest of 1 lime. Finely chop a small bunch of mint and mix that in too. Season with plenty of salt and a little pepper.
Mix that altogether. When it is a paste-like consistency, it is ready to put under the chicken's skin. This will keep the chicken really moist and will infuse it with the lovely flavours. Make sure you push the butter all over, underneath the skin.
Cut the onion into large chunks and place in the roasting tin. Place the chicken on top and drizzle on a little oil. The chicken is now ready to cook (further flavours will be added at a later stage but if added now the chicken is likely to burn). Place chicken in the oven and cook as normal (depending on size).
20 minutes before the end of cooking time....
Mix together: 4 tsp brown sugar, 2 shots rum!, 1 shot water, salt and pepper, a good glug of oil, the zest and juice of 1 lime.
Pour this over the chicken and put it back in the oven. Cook for a further 20 minutes basting every 5 mins.
Once the chicken is properly cooked through and looks golden brown, remove from the oven and from the pan - leave to rest.
Deglaze the pan with a little more rum and add a little flour to thicken. Cook the juices until they thicken slightly to create your gravy. Yum!
Serve with some roast potatoes and a mint, onion and tomato salsa salad.
The result... well, considering this was a slightly odd idea I think it works really well! Althought the flavours in a mojito are rather strong, the flavours at the end of this recipe were subtle and I think it worked really well!
Sometimes it pays to experiment. :-)