Winter (citrus) Wonderland

Roasted chicken with tangerines and olives

Sweet potatoes and pineapple

B is right, we do need to work on our photography.

B is right, we do need to work on our photography.

D made the chicken and I made the side.  He bought a whole chicken and cut it up for this purpose.  I’m always hesitant to do that.  I cut off the legs and wings, start feeling confident, then look at the football-shaped thing in front of me and start panicking.  What’s a breast look like?  Is that the chicken’s back?  Part of my worry stems from a long-running joke between D and his uncle about yella hammers (let’s just say “hillbillies”) liking to eat chicken backs.  I’ve always been worried I would serve D a chicken back, and he would die laughing and go call his uncle.  Alton Brown once had a show where he explained how to cut up a bird.  He said it was like a dinosaur.  That’s all I remember.  I don’t remember anything why being like a dinosaur is meaningful or helpful in any way.  So it’s a good thing D took care of it.  He said the only other prep was destuffing the green olives.  Also, “pro tip” from D: use the blunt end of a skewer to push the olive stuffing out.  He noted that if someone had a bird already cut up and pitted green olives, this would be an extremely easy recipe to prep.  It would just be cutting up those tangerines and tossing it.  Then you’d have thirty minutes of roast time to get a couple tablespoons of tangerine juice and some honey together.

The chicken was very tasty and moist.  The warm tangerines were very nice and sweet.  The olives were a little spicy, but that’s definitely because the former stuffing was spicy.  What kind of olives did we buy that had spicy stuffing?  Nowhere on the label does it say anything but “stuffed green olives.”  The whole thing is very nice leftover.  So when tangerines and other interesting citrus goes on sale in the winter, give this one a try.

The sweet potatoes and pineapple were good, but perhaps not as transcendent as I hoped.  You see, I love pineapple.  I love it the best of the best.  Sweet potatoes aren’t far down the list.  I think what actually kept this from being insanely good was the cayenne.  It was only 1/4 t for the entire pan, but it seemed like a little much.  It was a sharp spiciness and heat that I didn’t really want on my roasty pineapple and sweet potato, thank you.  I think a deeper, smokier taste like maybe cumin would have been better.  Or maybe chili powder, even.  Or just nothing.  Nothing would be good too.  My expectations may have been just a little high.  Or maybe I’m still obsessed with those twice-baked beauties…

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