I love having lunch dates, in fact I had one earlier this week with one of my best friends. The restaurants and “quick bite” deli’s in the neighborhood where I work are okay to splurge on occasionally, but spending $10 on a half sandwich and bag of chips just doesn’t sit right with me. I guess my friend felt the same way because we both brought bag lunches. Before I could even ask her what she brought, she blurted, “Yes, I did bring all of the ingredients for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I didn’t have time to assemble it this morning, don’t judge me.” Of course I wasn’t judging her, but I knew what she would ask next, and I didn’t want to seem like an arse, yes I really say arse, when it was my turn to share what I had brought for lunch.
Oh no, and here it comes, “So, what did you bring? Me: “Nothing special really, just some Roasted Mediterranean Chicken with Clementine’s and Dates, with a side of Sweet Potato Gratin. No big deal, quickly followed by, you want some?” As she tasted my leftovers, I thought she was going to spit out the date and roasted chicken combo, until she said, “It’s like a party in my mouth.” Hands down, best compliment I could ever ask for.
Mediterranean Chicken with Clementine’s & Dates
Cook Time: 1 Hour – 1 ½ Hour
Ingredients (With….you guessed it, COMMENTARY!)
1 Whole Chicken – My chicken weighed about 4 lbs and cooked in one hour. You may need more time depending on the size of the bird.
2 Tablespoons of Butter
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
½ Bunch of Poultry Mix Fresh Herb Packet – Minced; This can be found in the produce section at your local grocery store. It’s a mix of fresh sage, rosemary, and thyme. If you don’t use a lot of fresh herbs it’s better to get a small mixed packet, as you won’t waste them, and you’ll also save some money. 😀
4-5 Cloves of Garlic – Minced
6 Dates – seeded and halved
5 Clementine’s – seedless, halved
1 Teaspoon Pepper
1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper or Ground Cayenne Pepper
1 Teaspoon dry thyme
1 Teaspoon All Spice
1 Teaspoon Ground Marjoram
1 Teaspoon Cumin
2 Tablespoons Salt
1 Tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar
Preheat oven to 400°F
Combine butter, olive oil, garlic, and herbs in a bowl. Set aside. In another container, combine all spices and add a teaspoon of water to make a wet rub. Clean chicken in cold water, remove any remaining feathers, and the giblet bag inside the cavity of the chicken. Pat dry, and place in a roasting pan. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to the cavity and spread the wet rub mixture all over chicken. Then spread the herbed butter and oil mixture on top of the wet rub. Stuff the inside (cavity) with 4 dates and 2 clementine’s. Then place 2 dates and 1 clementine (halved) under the wings and around the legs (drumsticks). Place chicken in the oven and let cook until skin is golden brown, should take about an hour to an hour and a half. Take the 5th clementine and squeeze the juice over the chicken before serving.
Note: After removing from the oven I always cover the chicken with aluminum foil and let sit for at least 15 minutes before cutting.