I had a chicken in my kitchen, a beautiful plump chicken; and in my head swarmed ideas for its roasting. Alas, i was too unfocused: lemon and olives, smoked paprika, cinnamon and cumin,what about a streamlined Peruvian pachamanca ?
Who could decide? my normal ways of pursuing taste have abandoned me, I gotta find new ways. I went down to the kitchen, put on my fake leopardskin heels, and started to dance.
As I danced I started to feel happier, and soon I was in my cabinet of Asian flavours where, since visiting Taipei I have been spending a lot of time, gathering ingredients. And so I made a paste of preserved tofu, garlic, ginger, spices, and rubbed it all over the bird. Let it sit a little while to enjoy the evening air, while i danced a little longer, then into the oven to roast!
Here are the exact-ish amounts: it served the two of us, with leftovers for 3 small chicken-loving doggies.
1 whole chicken, med-small in size
4 cloves garlic, chopped
About 1-2 tablespoons chopped ginger
Pinch five spice
4 squares chile-fermented bean curd,mashed into a paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Drizzle sesame oil
2 tablespoons ginger wine or rice wine/mirin and a little extra ginger
1 clementine, cut into wedges
Coriander/cilantro to serve
Place chicken in a roasting pan just large enough to fit it.
Combine the garlic, ginger, five-spice and cumin, with the preserved tofu, soy sauce, sesame oil, and either ginger wine or mirin plus a little extra chopped ginger. Rub all over the chicken inside and out. Stick the clementine wedges into the cavity of the chicken. Set aside to marinate a bit–30 minutes is good, 2 hours is better.
Heat over to 400F; place chicken in, roast in high heat until browned, then reduce head to about 325 and continue roasting until its cooked through–usually takes about 1 hour 20 minutes in my oven.
Remove from heat, place chicken on plate, covered with foil while you make pan sauce.
Spoon off or drain off fat from pan drippings, then place roasting pan on stove top and add either water, broth or more wine, and cook, quickly, until pan juices or a nice intense jus forms. Pour the juices from the roasted chicken into the pan, and remove the clementine wedges, squeezing them into the pan juices too.
Serve the chicken either whole, or cut into serving pieces with its jus, sprinkled with coriander leaves/cilantro.