Scandinavian Roasted Chicken
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and stuff the chicken with the citrus halves, sage, rosemary, and thyme. If you can’t fit everything inside the carcass, it can be laid on top of the chicken or placed under the skin (on top of the muscle) for even more flavor.
Heat olive oil or butter with the garlic in a Dutch oven until very hot.
Sear the chicken on all sides so it’s a golden brown color.
Turn off the heat.
Pour the milk into the pan around the chicken and add the citrus zest and cardamom pods.
Bake covered about 75-90 minutes until the internal temp of the chicken reaches 165 degrees.
Baste (or ladle) chicken with the milk occasionally while baking.
After removing from oven, cover with lingonberry preserves and let rest 10 minutes before carving.
Serve with lingonberry preserves and a little of the milk sauce.
Notes: Milk sauce may curdle a little from the citrus. This is normal and is still super delicious to drizzle on your plate for serving. Leftovers can be refrigerated and used within a few days or can be frozen.
Chicken and turkey are popular for being high in protein and low in saturated fats making a mealtime staple for athletes as well as in many healthy eating households. Falling back on the same old recipes starts to become mundane and a little too routine. Finding new ways to cook up the standard bird and keep it interesting (and keep your taste buds dancing) is time-consuming but in this series of recipes, I will highlight many different ways to prepare your poultry so your meal rotation is anything but boring. So whaddya say? Let’s play chicken!
Scandinavian flavors are second nature to me. Both sets of my great, great grandparents made the long trek over the ocean from Norway and Sweden to settle here in Minnesota. Traditional Scandinavian seasonings and ways of cooking have been passed down for generations and are ingrained in my taste buds. The scent of cardamom and the bright red tartness of lingonberries in this roasted chicken fill my house with a nostalgic aroma.
When roasting a chicken, you want to preserve moisture so it doesn’t turn out dry. To do so, I always roast chicken with the skin on, has moisture in the pan, and keep it covered except for when I need to baste it. By keeping the skin on while cooking, the meat will be more flavorful and remain tender. By stuffing the cavity with aromatic herbs and citrus, the citrus will serve as a mechanism to steam the inside of the bird while cooking and provide additional flavor.
Using a Dutch oven is also one of the keys to awesome roasted chicken. A Dutch oven allows you to brown the meat on the stovetop and then transfer it right into the oven, covered, to finish the cooking process. Dutch ovens are typically enameled so clean up afterward is also a breeze. I use a small amount of milk poured around the chicken in the dutch oven to create steam and a base for the cardamom to release its essence and infiltrate the meat. This milk sauce will be bursting with citrus and cardamom and is a great drizzle to add on top of the chicken when serving.
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