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This dish is from Spain. For authenticity, you should use Spanish smoked paprika of the variety called "Pimenton De La Vera" - Not the regular smoked paprika ('Zaar won't let me enter pimenton as an ingredient!) Pimenton De La Vera is a powder made of smoked and ground chili peppers. It is a specific variety of smoked paprika and is produced only in one region in the southwest of Spain. If you don't have access to it, try using the more readily available varieties of smoked paprika. This recipe is from the San Francisco Chronicle (1/10/06). I have not yet prepared it.
- Preheat oven to 425º. Rinse chicken inside and out, removing excess fat. Pat dry.
- In a small skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium-low until the garlic sizzles and begins to fragrance the oil. Remove from heat. When olive oil and garlic mixture is cool, remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and set both oil and garlic aside.
- With a mortar and pestle, pound the saffron threads into a a powder. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the pimenton and the reserved olive oil. Stir until smooth.
- Pat the inside of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Insert the garlic slices and the orange chunks into the cavity. Using a spatula, slather the chicken with the spiced oil on all sides.
- Place the chicken with the breast side down on a rack in a roasting pan or in a terra-cotta casserole dish. Roast for 40 minutes. Then turn the chicken breast side up, baste it with the pan juices, and continue roasting until the chicken is browned and the skin is crisp - Approximately 20-30 minutes. The juices should run clear when the thigh is pricked.
- Allow the chicken to rest at least 20 minutes before carving.
This was really, really good! I've never had saffron before and didn't realize how well that flavor would come through in such a small quantity. I used a lemon in place of the orange since that's what I had, but the flavors all melded together wonderfully well. The chicken was tender and flavorful. Everyone liked it and the kids raved about it. I may adjust it and use it for boneless/skinless breasts next time, just to see how that works.
I agree with the first review; this is a wonderful dish. And I really appreciate the specificity of the ingredient: pimenton de la vera is utterly delicious, and the garlic and orange "stuffing" is tremendous. I used three times the amount of garlic. I would also recommend making double the pimenton and saffron mixture; heat some so it releases its flavor, and dribble it on the chicken when it is served, like a sauce. Otherwise the raison d'etre of the dish can be a bit lost.
Amazing flavor! I slow roasted the chicken on 325 degrees for 2 1/2 hours, turned up the heat to 350 degrees the last 30 minutes, then broiled the bottom of the chicken for about 10 minutes. That amount of salt tenderized the chicken beautifully. Very moist and my husband and I fought over the last piece of crispy skin. Thank you for posting this exceptional recipe. cg ;)