One of my favorite things to make is a simple roast chicken, especially during the winter months. The skin of the chicken crisps up beautifully and the flavors of the poultry seep into the accompanying vegetables in the pan. Another wonderful aspect of it is its versatility, you can pair it with so many different flavors and make an evilly delicious roast chicken every time, whether savory, sweet, or sour.
This chicken is a little sweet and a little savory. I used one of my favorite winter fruits, the persimmon, to make a glaze for the bird and also put some in the pan alongside the chicken to roast away in the oven. The result was a succulent chicken, full of delicious sweet, salty, and fruitful flavor. The honey and wine in the glaze worked wonders on the skin of the chicken, and we ate it alongside a bottle of wonderfully inky black Pinot Noir from Last Bottle wines. (Nothing pairs better with a roast bird than a big glass of red, in my opinion.) It made for a wonderfully cozy and soothing meal, which was much needed since I kind of sorta accidentally started a kitchen fire earlier that day.
To be fair, it remains a mystery whose fault it was, but some chunk of food had fallen onto the bottom of the oven unnoticed during either my or Jeremy’s use of it, and when I preheated the oven that day, whatever it was promptly turned into a small-yet-terrifying flaming baseball-sized coal. A little splash of water put it out immediately, but it did put my nerves on edge. It was the first time I’d had to deal with a kitchen fire since my older sister put room temperature olive oil straight into a scalding hot pan when I was 8 years old, and even then I wasn’t trembling afterwards. But in the end the most annoying part of it was cleaning the water out from under the oven, which is a pretty mild clean-up as far as kitchen fires go, so I can’t complain too much. Plus, I got to eat roast chicken afterwards, and in my opinion any evening that ends with good food and wine is a pretty great one, regardless of the miniature disasters that led up to that point.
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Begin by making the glaze. In a medium sized pot over medium heat, bring all of the ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer until the permission fruit has softened, about 15-20 minutes. Pour the mixture into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the onion pieces in an even layer on the bottom of a roasting pan and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over them, then set aside. Mix together all the seasonings in a small bowl and set it aside. Rub the chicken down with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil mixed with 2 tablespoons of the glaze, inside and out. Then rub the bird down with the spice mixture. Place the bird centered in the pan, breast facing up, and tie the legs together with the twine. Arrange the persimmon quarters in the roasting pan around the bird and then pour the remaining glaze into the pan. Place on the bottom rack of the oven and roast until the internal temperature of the bird reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If the bird is browning too quickly, tent it with tin foil. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.