By Tracey Ceurvels, contributing writer
A roasted chicken along with a salad is one of my top go-to dinners when I’ve had a busy day. It’s so easy to place the chicken in the oven and then, while it’s roasting, prepare the salad.
And, I have found an incredibly easy and fun way to turn a boring whole chicken into a true dinner favorite: roasting it with tea.
Infusing and basting the chicken with black, tannic tea not only makes the chicken incredibly moist and tasty, but it also gives it a slight smoky flavor. I balance the smoky flavor by adding half an orange. I love the black tea/orange combination, but you can experiment with whatever teas and flavors you prefer.
1 4-5lb whole chicken
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1 orange, halved
2 teabags of your choice, or 2 teaspoons of loose tea leaves placed in a filter bag—I always use black, such as Ceylon, Keemum or Darjeeling, but experiment if you like
1 cup of water
Make the chicken:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rub the chicken with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice from the orange over the whole chicken; then place the halves into the cavity of the chicken. Add the loose tea leaves to a filter bag (or use 2 tea bags), and place on the bottom of the roasting pan surrounding the chicken. Add water to the pan. Cover and place into the oven.
Roast the chicken for about 1 hour, then remove cover and baste with the drippings; cook for another 30 minutes. When finished, remove sachet; the internal temperature of the chicken should be 180 degrees. Let the chicken rest on a cutting board for about 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with a salad or vegetable of your choice.