4 servings (serving size: 5 ounces meat and about 1/2 cup sauce)
1 (3 3/4-pound) whole roasting chicken
2 teaspoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 garlic cloves, minced and divided
8 ounces tomatillos
1 medium onion, quartered
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°.
Remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken; trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breasts and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat.
Combine butter, chile powder, rind, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cumin, and 1 garlic clove in a small bowl. Rub seasoning mixture under loosened skin and over breasts and drumsticks. Tie ends of legs together with twine. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Place chicken, breast side up, on a rack coated with cooking spray; place rack in roasting pan.
Discard husks and stems from tomatillos; cut into quarters. Arrange tomatillos and onion evenly around chicken. Bake at 375° for 40 minutes.
Increase oven temperature to 450°, and bake an additional 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of thigh registers 170°. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 15 minutes.
Place tomatillos and onion in a food processor. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 3 garlic cloves, cilantro, juice, and chiles; process until smooth.
Remove skin from chicken; discard. Carve chicken, and serve with sauce. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.
This is a fabulous recipe. My chicken weighed 3.75 pounds, and the timing was perfect. My only change was to use ancho chili pepper and about 1 1/2 tsp, and to put a half a lime in the chicken cavity. So juicy and flavorful! Served with sweet potatoes and asparagus--started the sweet potatoes when I turned the temp to 450 and did the asparagus while the chicken was resting on a platter and the potatoes finishing up in the oven. All one pan!
The salsa really makes this dish! I made this with chicken leg quarters rather than a whole chicken, and added a fresh pepper to bake with everything instead of using diced green chilies. My only improvement would be it needs some heat. Next time, I will bake a jalapeno with the chicken and puree with the salsa. My husband thought it should get 6 stars!
I used Cornish Game Hens cut in half for the recipe. I baked them for about an hour. My husband and I loved it. I served it over small red beans that had been cooked with a Chipotle chile. The sauce was delicious. This would be a great meal for company.
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