Golden Roasted Chicken

rochelle-bilow_GOLDENCHICKEN

There is turmeric and then there is turmeric. If you've ever cooked with quality turmeric, you know what I'm talking about: Once you've cooked with the good stuff, the mass-produced supermarket shaker canisters just won't cut it. What separates the wheat from the chaff is the quality of the root used. High-caliber turmeric has an earthy, medicinal taste that sings (and tastes of more than just "yellow"). I knew I'd sniffed out a keeper when a bag of Golden Root turmeric latte mix made it into my kitchen, and yes, I did say latte mix.

I know what you're thinking: Isn't a latte mix a little... basic? A little too "do it for the 'gram"? I used to think so too. But trust me here; this is anything but basic. Yes, I've whisked it into a few mugs of frothy macadamia nut milk, but where I think it really shines is in baking and savory cooking projects.

And here's why: It's not just turmeric. It's a blend of coconut sugar, coconut milk powder, ginger, black pepper, pink salt, and cayenne. There's also a sugar-free version that leaves out the coconut sugar. It's the blend of ingredients that gives the mix an unctuous, well-rounded flavor straight turmeric doesn't have. It takes a lot to receive a recurring invite into my kitchen pantry, and this little package has earned a front row seat (literally, it's in front of everything else in my cupboards for easy access). I've been working on a lot of creative turmeric-forward recipes, which I'll be sharing with you over the next few months. First up is a roast chicken so golden and juicy, you'll find yourself standing at the counter, eating it with your bare hands. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Golden Roast Chicken

  • 1 medium (4-5 pounds) chicken, pasture-raised if possible
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 cup full-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons Golden Root sugar-free turmeric latte mix, divided (I don't recommend using the original mix, as the coconut sugar will burn in the oven's high heat)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, plus more for the pan
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1-2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped

You're going to start by spatchcocking the chicken, and before you freak out let me assure you that it's actually rather simple. Spatchcocking = removing the backbone. That's basically it. I use a pair of kitchen shears to snip along both sides of the spine, then lift it up and out of the carcass. (Don't toss it; you can use it to make stock with the picked-over carcass.) After that, you'll use your palms to flatten the chicken as much as possible. Bon Appétit has a great visual guide here if you're still wary.

Rub the entire chicken down with the toasted sesame oil, massaging it into the skin as well as the backside of the body. Set aside. In a zip-top bag, mix together the yogurt, buttermilk, and two tablespoons of the turmeric mix. Add the oiled-up chicken and close the bag. Work the marinade into the chicken by massaging the bag, then place in the fridge for at least two hours and up to eight.

Remove the chicken from the fridge and wipe off/discard the marinade. There's no need to rinse the chicken, and in fact please don't. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, and place on a wire rack set over a sheet tray or plate. Keep at room temperature for 30-45 minutes, to take the fridge chill off. (A room-temperature chicken will achieve a better sear and color.) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a small bowl, mix together the coconut oil, slightly softened, salt, and remaining turmeric mix. Rub that all over the chicken, focusing primarily on the skin side. Preheat an 8- or 9-inch cast-iron pan over medium-high heat with a smear more coconut oil. Add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until a you've achieved a sheen of golden-brown color on the skin. Remove the chicken, and add the stock. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bitsFlip the chicken skin-side up and place the pan on a rack positioned in the middle of the oven.

Cook for 35-40 minutes (oven "actual" temperatures vary drastically, so be watchful and vigilant), until a thermometer inserted into the thigh reads 150 degrees. I am well-aware the FDA recommends cooking poultry to 165˚, but I am accounting here for carry-over cook time. I also worry less about food safety issues when working with quality meat from local farmers. I empower you to make your own choice as to which temperature you'll go to.

Remove the chicken from the oven and set on a clean wire rack to rest 10-15 minutes. You may discard the onions, or use them to make stock with the carcass. Carve, and serve.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Thank you to Golden Root for sponsoring this post!