Never-Dry Roasted Clementine Chicken
-About 6-8 small (Clementine) tangerines, peeled at room temperature
-1 raw (thawed) 3.5 to 4.5-lb whole roaster chicken
-1-1/2 tsp salt
-1 tsp onion powder
-1 tsp paprika
-1 tsp cinnamon
-2 to 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel several small room temperature clementines (or a few regular tangerines) and leave each intact as a sphere. You will need enough to fill the bird plus one extra. I used six for my 3.5-lb chicken, so plan accordingly.
Take a sharp knife and gouge slits about 1/4″ deep and 1″ long, perpendicular to vertical segment divisions, across each fruit in several places. Remove a 3.5 – 4lb. raw chicken from packaging, being sure to remove any gizzards or bag inside and empty excess liquid into sink or receptacle. Place in casserole dish or roaster pan.
One by one, begin pushing the whole clementines inside the chicken. Apply just enough “smush” pressure to fit several in tightly without any large open areas inside. Again, I was able to fit five whole, peeled Clemies comfortably inside my small roaster.
Take the last remaining clementine and squeeze juice over the entire outside of the chicken, rubbing juice into raw chicken where possible.
Sprinkle meat with 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Rub spices into meat only if desired.
Place uncovered chicken in 375-degree oven for half of the cooking time (poultry cooks at 20 minutes per pound). Remove from oven at this point and rub/glaze chicken with 2-3 tablespoons butter or margarine and baste with any broth that has already formed in bottom of pan.
Cover at this point with lid or aluminum foil and replace in oven for duration of cook time. Remove when meat thermometer reads 170 degrees and juices run clear.
Garnish with parsley or additional citrus wedges if desired. Carve and serve immediately; refrigerate or freeze any leftover meat.