By Chris De La Rosa
I first shared this recipe, last holiday season, on YouTube, and it was one of the best rated videos I did, the last quarter of 2017. I guess I’m not alone in my dislike for Turkey, as many people opted to give this Caribbean festive roasted chicken a test drive.
As a kid growing up on the islands, I always looked forward to when sorrel was in season (usually around Christmas time) as I’ve always been a fan of the juice, made from this hibiscus family of flowers. The natural balance of the citrus, sorrel and pomegranate is just awesome as a glaze on chicken (and pork) as you’re about to learn.
3 lb chicken
2 slices ginger
1 mandarin / clementine (cut in half)
4 cloves garlic (smashed)
10 sprigs thyme
1/2 medium onion (cut in half)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large pomegranates (juice and seeds)
6 sorrel buds (aka dried hibiscus)
2 clementine / mandarin (juice)
2 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoon golden brown sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 slices ginger
Important! If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten-free dietary needs.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 F. As it comes to temperature, stuff the clean chicken with the ginger, clementine, garlic, thyme and onion. I used a cast iron pan (skillet) as I find I get a better ‘browned’ chicken, since the sides are very low. Drizzle on the olive oil on the pan to prevent sticking, place the chicken on the roasting pan and sprinkle on the salt and black pepper over it. If you wanted to add salt and black pepper in the cavity of the chicken you’ can also do so.
Into the 400 F oven on the center rack. As the chicken roast in the oven, we can go ahead and make the pomegranate sorrel glaze to use in an hour or so. In a saucepan place the pomegranate, mandarin, ginger, honey, salt, water, sorrel and sugar, place on a med/high flame and bring to a boil. As it comes to a boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and reduce by 2/3 or so. It may take between 20-30 minutes.
After about 20 minutes in the oven, I took the chicken out and basted it with the drippings which accumulated in the skillet. Back in the oven on the middle rack. Note that I didn’t cover the chicken with foil.
Depending on the size of the chicken, it will take between 1 hour and 75 minutes to fully cook. At this point remove it from the oven and baste on the glaze we made, then put back into the oven. It stayed for about 5-7 minutes, before I did it again.. 3 times in total. At first I spooned on the glaze, then I found that a brush was better suited for this.
As you’ve seen in the image above, including some of the pomegranate seeds makes for excellent presentation and the lovely burst of juice is awesome when eating the chicken itself. I forgot to mention that you can find sorrel in its dried form (my new fav) all year long and I’ve even seen it being sold on Amazon as well.
I encourage you to give this recipe a try as it’s a great way to add some additional flavor to boring, oven-roasted chicken.
This recipe is courtesy of Gourmand Award winning cookbook author and founder of CaribbeanPot.com, Chris De La Rosa. With over 450 printable recipes with step by step cooking instructions and demo videos, PLUS over 1 million social/fan connections globally every month, CaribbeanPot.com is the world’s #1 resource of Caribbean Culinary Culture. Connect with Chis on Instagram: www.instagram.com/caribbeanpot/.