Hye Thyme Cafe: September 2016

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Chipotle-Adobo Roasted Chicken

When cleaning out the freezer recently I found a zip-top bag of Chipotle Chiles in Adobo Sauce. I vaguely remembered opening a can a while back but couldn't remember what I had used it for. Also having a chicken in the fridge at the time, I decided to thaw out the chiles to make this Cihpotle-Adobo Roasted Chicken.

I'm not a big sauce/gravy person, so it didn't occur to me at the time, but this would have been even more awesome if I had used the drippings to make a gravy, especially if you make mashed or baked potatoes to go with it. That would be sooooo good over potatoes! Great flavor, and just the right amount of heat.

1 roasting chicken
4 T butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 t each salt and pepper
3-4 chipotles in adobo sauce
2-3 cloves garlic
1 large orange

  1. Pat your chicken dry and set in roasting pan (with or without rack). I like to chop an onion and a few carrots and put those in the pan before adding a chicken. It looks like I got mad at my chicken and shoved a carrot up its backside, but that's really not the case. ;)
  2. Stir, or pulse together in a your food processor, the butter, salt, pepper, garlic, and three or four of the chiles with some of the sauce (how much depends on your taste and how much heat you like).  I mixed mine by hand, but it would really blend together better if you threw it in the food processor - not a big deal since it's all going to melt together anyhow.
  3. Once that's combined, wash and dry your orange well to remove any wax, etc., then zest the peel and squeeze the juice into the butter mixture, stirring or pulsing to blend - not all of the juice will mix in.
  4. This part grosses me out, but it's over pretty quickly and is totally worth it ... at the opening of the cavity, stick your fingers under the chicken skin and gently work your fingers in there to separate the skin from the chicken. Scoop up the butter mixture with your hand and rub it all over the chicken under the skin.
  5. When you've gotten all of the butter mixture on the chicken, go ahead and rub the residual butter on your hands over the outside of the chicken, then pour any juice that didn't mix in over the top - the sugar in the juice will help caramelize and crisp the skin for you.
  6. If you want, stick the orange peels inside the chicken, so the heat will cause a nice citrus steam bath while roasting, for extra moisture. I put them in whole, but if you're concerned about the air circulating, feel free to cut them into smaller pieces.
  7. Start roasting the chicken at 450 for 15-20" to get that nice crispy skin going, then reduce to 350 until done - time will vary depending on the type of pan you're using, the size of your chicken, etc., but most seem to come with thermometers nowadays. If not, and you have your own thermometer, stick it into the meaty part of a leg - avoiding the bone - and the temp should be at least 165⁰. You can also slice between the leg and the bird to make sure the juices run clear.
If you did want to make a gravy, you could do it two ways - right in the pan, then strain, or start a roux in a separate stock pot and then strain in the drippings, adding water or chicken broth as needed. On those occasions when I do make gravy, I like to start it off in a separate pot, so I'll whisk together equal parts butter and flour (depends on how much I'm making, but 2T or 3T of each is usually good).  When that starts to get some good color going, strain in the drippings and liquid and let come up to a boil and start to thicken, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. I find if I do it the other way around - whisking the butter and flour (or cornstarch) into the pan drippings, I'm more likely to get lumps. Even though you're straining out the lumps, you're not getting the full benefit of that thickening agent because it didn't blend in.

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