Roast chicken, the perfect poultry for a Sunday dinner, just became much tastier, thanks to a sweet cherry balsamic glaze.
The National Cherry Festival is in full swing just down the road from the Comfortably Domestic house, which means that this week is all about celebrating all things cherry. Judging by the number of cherry recipes I’ve shared, winners like sweet cherry mojitos, my favorite cherry pie, cherry apricot crumb pie, cherry chipotle hot fudge, and even sour cherry cordial frozen yogurt, I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m a big fan of cherries in just about any form. One thing that was missing in all sea of cherry goodness was a savory cherry recipe.
When it comes to pairing fruits with meats, pork gets all of the fruited glory. Chicken is a close second in sharing the fruit love, so a savory chicken recipe with cherries was were my mind gravitated.
Whole chickens can be quite economical in terms of price per pound, and especially for the amount of servings yielded. For that reason, I tend to stock up on whole chickens when I find them for under a dollar per pound. Roast chicken is so simple to make, and the results are infinitely more tasty that those convenient store bought rotisserie chickens. As an added bonus, your fingers shouldn’t swell up like little sausages from all of the salty broth that is injected into the store bought rotisserie varieties.
While I’m not afraid to snag a cooked chicken off of the grocery warmer for convenience, I pay the price the next day in the form of tight rings on my fingers and a thirst worthy of being stranded in a desert. That’s one of the reasons that I enjoy roasting my own chickens–no finuckles (knucklingers?)–after eating them.
Is it weird that I even notice or care about these kind of things? Am I turning into my grandmother? Maybe? I can live with that.
Grandma would also have me mention that when making roast chicken, there should be plenty enough to be “picked” off the bones to make a light chicken salad and homemade chicken stock, too.
Now that we’ve established the value in roasting a whole chicken, let’s get to the really good part…the sauce! Since the chicken takes all of five minutes to get in the oven, I figured that I could spend a few more minutes on making the glaze. The tart Cherry Balsamic Glaze has just the right
This simple, tender roast chicken is perfectly balanced, with sweetness from cherries and honey, tang from the vinegar, and the savory elements of onion and spices.
Brush a little glaze over the chicken while it’s in the oven, and then spoon the remaining plump, juicy cherries in the sauce over top for serving. You’ll leave the table feeling like you’ve enjoyed a restaurant quality meal for well under ten dollars!
20 minPrep Time
1 hr, 10 Cook Time
1 hr, 30 Total Time
- For the Chicken:
- 4 1/2 - 5 lbs. whole chicken (giblets removed)
- 1 Tbs. softened butter, divided
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. minced fresh oregano (or 1/4 tsp. dried)
- For the Glaze:
- 1 C. tart pitted cherries (frozen is OK)
- 1/4 C. diced red onion
- 1/2 C. cherry juice concentrate
- 3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a rack in a deep roasting pan; set aside.
- Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Run fingers underneath the skin over the chicken breasts to create a pocket. Divide the softened butter in half and rub it underneath the skin in the newly created pocket. Rub any butter remaining of fingers over the outside of the chicken. Sprinkle the top of the bird with salt, pepper, and oregano. Rub the spices over the outer skin to adhere.
- Set the seasoned chicken on the roasting rack of the prepared pan. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 375 degrees F, and continues roasting the bird for an additional 50 to 60 minutes, or until an internal temperature of the thickest part of the bird registers 170 degrees F.
- About 20 minutes before the chicken is done, prepare the glaze by combining the tart cherries, cherry juice concentrate, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt, pepper, and onion in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, and reduce the temperature to medium-low to simmer until sauce is reduced by half. (About 10 minutes.)
- During the last 10 minutes of baking, brush half of the glaze over the outside of the chicken and return it to the oven to finish roasting.
- Once the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.
- To serve, carve the chicken and spoon the remaining glaze over top.
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