Remember how I mentioned that the secret to perfectly roasted chicken is the very top rack of the oven at 500 degrees, lots of olive oil and skin-on, bone-in chicken? If you don’t remember, now you know. Thank you, Gourmet, for sharing this extraordinary knowledge. This sweet and spicy and roasty toasty recipe is the first way that I had this magical chicken – so pleasing and delicious.
It’s a perfect weeknight dinner because it is ridiculously easy to prepare. It’s also a very economical way to feed quite a few people. The simple combination of paprika, cayenne and cinnamon ends up tasting surprising and complex – the onions roast to sublime tenderness and sweetness. I like to roast a few vegetables in a different dish next door to the chicken in the oven. Sometimes squash and zucchini, sometimes cauliflower; either way I give the veggies a generous dose of lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and a little parmesan. Gourmet recommends green beans with shallots and cashews – also magnificent. Just make sure you put your veggies in for about 25 minutes instead of the 35 that the chicken needs.
I can never actually follow the rules for anything, and I don’t always have the patience to measure, so I say you get to adjust the amount of spices to your taste. The recipe below is just a guideline. I love lots of paprika, lots of cinnamon and a little less cayenne. I also add a dash of smoked paprika. You can use a whole, cut up chicken for a full table; I use a couple of skin-on, bone-in breasts for two or three. Sweet onions or regular – either will be very tasty.
Once again we have an amazing dish that tastes fabulous, cooks all at once in the oven, makes your house smell fantastic and is easy to clean up. Yes, please. Stay tuned for future editions of “fabulous roasted chicken” – I’m thinking szechwan peppercorns or chile and lime… adobo spices or something sweet and Moroccan…
delicious paprika and spiced roast chicken with sweet onions
inspired by Gourmet magazine – serves 4 to 6
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (or more if you like it spicy)
- 1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces (I just use a few breasts)
- 2 to 3 vidalia onions or yellow spanish onions, quartered
- mix the olive oil with the spices, plus about 1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt and a little black pepper in a bowl – the mixture should be a little runny but well incorporated
- lay chicken and quartered onions in a large baking dish and generously rub spice and oil mixture all over the chicken, taking care to get plenty under the skin, as well as generously rubbing and tossing the onions in oil and spice mixture (everything should be well seasoned – not dry)
- drizzle with oil if necessary, add an extra pinch of salt over the dish, and bake, skin side up for 30-35 minutes on the very top rack of the oven at 500 degrees
- serve and sing praises for amazing food that is easy to prepare, warms the soul and fills the belly
Serve with all of the pan juices poured over the chicken and onions for extra flavor.
Be sure and roast with the skin on, even if you don’t plan to eat it. This will help to keep the chicken moist and flavorful and cannot be omitted.