We wanted a roast chicken tonight, and I came across this gem of a recipe on page 235 of Aloha Days, Hula Nights. Now, settle in, because I am about to wax poetic about this chicken. The glaze is thick, rich, sweet, and spicy, the perfect complement to chicken (and food, generally – we dipped our roasted Okinawan purple sweet potatoes in it too). The onions caramelized on top of the chicken and the glaze gave the meat a sweet, smoky flavor that was stop-talking-at-the-table fantastic. My husband could not stop eating it – even when he was full to bursting and doing the dishes, he was scraping bits of caramelized glaze off the pan to devour.
A long time ago, I discovered a roasted whole-bird recipe which made a flavored butter to be stuffed under the chicken skin, and every time I make a variation of that, the chicken is moist, tender, and flavorful. I haven’t roasted a whole chicken without butter under the skin in ages. Ages!! Literally, in years. So I was a bit nervous about roasting a chicken with nothing under the skin but some pretty sage leaves. But let me tell you, the glaze makes it work! The chicken was moist and flavorful – just perfect. And adding chili powder to a sauce is something I’ll use regularly – sometimes I make a pan sauce and it’s just missing a layer of flavor, and I think the background smokiness of the chili powder will do the trick nicely.
One thing I love about our cookbooks is how easy the recipes are and how I typically don’t need to buy special ingredients to make the recipes. All of my recent posts resulted from flipping through the cookbooks, thinking, “hmm, I bought a whole chicken, what can I cook from the books with that?” Each cookbook has a great index for searching by ingredient, and the recipes are from real women who make them regularly – so they are delicious and do-able without much fuss. Once I find one, I can mold the recipe itself to my pantry: for this chicken, I had to replace the shallots with sweet Ewa onions and the apply jelly with a combo of fig jam and orange marmalade, and it still turned out super yummy. I bet I could have replaced the sage with thyme, rosemary, or some other fresh herb that I had on hand, and it would have worked. I enjoy learning new ways to cook from Junior League ladies who know what they’re doing!
Check out that delicious glaze!
Roasted Chicken with Chili-Sage Glaze
- One 4 to 5 pound whole chicken
- 8 whole fresh sage leaves
- Salt and coarse black pepper
- 1 cup dry white wine
CHILI-SAGE GLAZE Ingredients:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- 3 large shallots
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 5 tablespoons apple chutney or jelly
Heat oven to 400ºF. Remove giblets from chicken cavity and discard. Rinse and place chicken in a roasting pan. Starting at neck end, gently slide fingers between skin and meat to loosen skin. Place 4 whole sage leaves decoratively under skin on each breast. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour in 1 cup wine. Roast 1 hour.
Meanwhile melt butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped sage and shallots and sauté until tender. Add chili powder. Stir in wine and apple chutney. Reduce heat and simmer until glaze is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Baste chicken with pan juices, then drizzle on some of the Chili-Sage Glaze. Return to oven. Cook another 30 to 45 minutes until tender, basting every 10 minutes. Remove chicken from oven. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer to serving platter. Drizzle with remaining glaze. Serve.
Serves 4 to 6.
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