Recipe: Orange Ginger Roasted Chicken

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Photo by Leo Gong

Reprinted with permission from The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery. Copyright © 2009 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Celestial Arts, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo Credit: Leo Gong.

Roasted chicken is such a staple for many people that I wanted to provide a zippy recipe that would avoid the all-too-frequent pitfall of bland, dry results. Here, I've replaced the common rosemary-thyme rub with ginger, orange zest, and cinnamon, which are also appetite stimulants. Rubbing the spices under the skin, filling the cavity with more aromatics and orange juice, and then roasting the whole shebang makes for one moist, tasty bird! Drizzle with Moroccan Pesto (page 186) or add a dollop of Apricot Pear Chutney (page 175).

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves 6

    • One 4 ½ to 5-pound organic chicken
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
    • 1 orange, zested and juiced, rind reserved
    • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger, plus 1 finger-length piece of unpeeled fresh ginger, halved     lengthwise
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 2 cinnamon sticks

Use disposable kitchen gloves to handle the bird more easily and keep things sanitary.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Stir the paprika, coriander, and cinnamon together, then divide the mixture in half and stir 1 teaspoon of the salt into half. Rub the salted spice mixture all over the outside of the chicken. Sprinkle the remaining one half teaspoon salt inside the chicken.

With your palm facing downward, use your first three fingers to gently lift the skin on both sides of the breast to loosen it from the meat. Rub the remaining spice mixture, the orange zest, and grated ginger under the skin of each breast, massaging them lightly into the meat. Place the garlic, cinnamon sticks, ginger pieces, and orange rind inside the cavity along with half of the orange juice.

Place the chicken on a roasting rack in a glass or ceramic baking dish, breast side up. Roast until a meat thermometer reads 160°F when inserted in the thigh and the juice from the meat runs clear, about 1 hour.

Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before carving. Just before serving, pour the remaining orange juice over the chicken.

Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for three to five days.

Variations: Here are a few other spice blends for a tasty bird:

    • In place of the paprika, coriander, and cinnamon, use 1 teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon     ground coriander, and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano.
    • Replace the paprika with anise seeds.
    • Replace the oranges with lemons, and in place of the paprika, coriander, and cinnamon, use     ½ teaspoon dried thyme, ¼ teaspoon rosemary, and ¼ teaspoon sage.

Note: Leftovers, anyone? Using leftover roasted chicken will save time and add flavor to any recipe calling for roasted or shredded chicken.

Presented by

Rebecca Katz

Rebecca Katz is a nationally-recognized expert on the role of food in supporting health during cancer treatment. She has a Masters of Science degree in Health and Nutrition Education, and received her culinary training from New York's Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts. She is the Executive Chef for The Center for Mind-Body Medicine's Food As Medicine and CancerGuides® Professional Training Programs, which attracts the country's top cancer wellness physicians, nurses, social workers, and researchers. She is also visiting chef and nutrition educator at Commonweal's Cancer Help Program in Bolinas, California, which offers intensive self-care programs for cancer patients and their caregivers.

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