This Peruvian style roasted chicken will render you the moistest, most tender and flavorful chicken you will make in your home oven. It is truly remarkable.
The secret is in the marinade which is made with a lot of garlic, a lot of lime and is heavy on the spices. You will see that there is an habanero on the list which would make you think that this is spicy. The truth is it is not. The combination of all the ingredients temper down that habanero and you will not feel excess heat. It does, however, add an interesting layer of flavor. Be sure to set time aside to give this Peruvian style roasted chicken enough time to sit in the adobo. You need a minimum of 6 hours. I like leaving it in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
I always roast chicken like I roast my turkeys. I start them breast side down in a high oven (400F-200C) and then flip them to finish off at lower temperature (350F-175C). This has always worked the best for me as it not only browns the back of the chicken, it also keeps the breast nice and juicy. You will find that this particular chicken breast glistens with moisture. And that is due to the salt that we use in the marinade. It does wonders for the breast.
Peruvian Style Roasted Chicken
1 – 5 to 6 pound whole roasting chicken
FOR THE PASTE:
6 garlic cloves — peeled and chopped
1/2 of an habanero pepper
1/4 cup mint leaves
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons lime zest (that should be approx. two limes)
2 limes — juiced
1/4 cup oil
Place all of ingredients in a blender and blend until you have a smooth paste. If you do not have a high powered blender chop everything before adding to the blender.
Trim any excess fat from the chicken. Carefully run your fingers between the skin and the breast and thigh meat, to separate them. Be careful not to break the skin.
Rub half of the paste on the meat under the skin and the cavity. Coat the chicken on the outside, making sure to rub under the wings.
Place the coated chicken into a container. Place the container into a grocery store bag and tie it. Refrigerate for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight.
COOK THE CHICKEN:
Remove the chicken from the fridge and take it out of the bag.
Place a rack into a roasting pan and coat it with oil. Place the chicken on top of the rack, breast side down. Allow it to come to room temperature by sitting on the counter for about 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400F (200C).
Place the chicken into the oven — breast side down. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the oven. Carefully flip it by inserting a meat cooking fork inside the cavity and grabbing the other end with an oven mitt.
Reduce the oven to 350F (175 C).
Add some water to the bottom of the roasting pan, making sure that it doesn’t touch the chicken.
Return the pan to the oven and cook for an hour. Remove the chicken from the oven and insert a thermometer between the thigh and the leg — making sure not to touch the bone. It should register 165 to 170 F (74 to 76 C). Return it to the oven if it needs to continue cooking. Check it every 15 minutes.
Tent the roasting pan with aluminum foil. Allow the chicken to rest for 30 minutes before carving.
Carve and enjoy with your favorite sides.