This is a recipe boiled down from one that I got that sounded good, but I had a really  rough time with – even though the finished product was amazing.  Temperatures were off,  ( could be my 20 year old stove) and sauces didn’t thicken – but wow, what a great taste.  So, here is the simplified version:
The secret to this recipe is the marinade – which is totally amazing!  It goes both below and above the skin of the bird, which is then refrigerated for 6 – 24 hours.  I stuck my bird in the fridge for about 18 hours or so – I made the marinade the night before and cooked the next day.  The original recipe called for vertical roasting, but I didn’t have a beer can cooker or vertical roaster, so I left the bird right side up on a roasting rack.  Came out fine, moist, crispy on the outside, totally awesome!  Here it goes – it is actually a pretty simple dish this way:
Marinade mix:
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup tightly packed fresh mint leaves, chopped (one whole package from the store)
2 tbs fresh ground sea salt
6 large garlic cloves, diced
1 tbs fresh ground pepper ( I used about 1tsp of the smoked black pepper mixed in with this.  It is available in supermarkets and is a definite must for dry rubs)
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs sugar
2 tsp smoked paprika ( NOT regular – find the smoked paprika)
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp packed lime zest from one lime
¼ cup fresh lime juice from 2 limes
1 tsp minced seeded habanero chili
1 tsp dried new mexico chile – seeded and diced.
1 whole chicken (3.5 – 4 lb)
Marinated, ready to go!
  1. Process all ingredients, except chicken in blender or food processor until smooth paste forms.  Scrape sides with rubber spatula as needed until mixture is smooth. 
  2. With fingers, separate skin from breast, thighs, and back of chicken, and remove any excess fat.  Rub ½ paste beneath the skin of the chicken ( wear rubber gloves, or, as I did, constantly wash hands,(don’t touch your eyes) due to the peppers)  Spread remaining paste over entire rest of the exterior surface of the chicken.  Place chicken in a freezer bag, or wrap with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 6 – 24 hours – the longer the better…
  3. When ready to cook ( the next day, or later that day ) pre heat oven to 390 degrees.  Place bird on a rack in a roasting pan, and pour ½ of  a 12 oz beer into the bottom.  Roast for 1.5 hours, depending on your oven, or until skin is crispy and brown, and interior temperature is 165 degrees at the thickest part of the breast, and 175 degrees in the thighs.
  4. Crispy outside, tender and moist inside!
  5. Remove from oven, and let rest for 15 minutes.  Carve, and serve with spicy sauce.
Spice Sauce/Mayonnaise
1 large egg
2 tbs water
1 tbs minced shallot
1 tbs fresh lime juice from one lime
1 tbs fresh cilantro       
1 tbs pickled jalapeno, minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1 tsp yellow mustard
½ tsp fresh ground sea salt
1 cup light olive oil
Process all ingredients except the oil in a food processor until finely chopped – about 5 or 10 seconds.  With machine running on slow, slowly drizzle in oil in a steady stream until mayonnaise-like consistency is reached.  ( Mine came out more like a thick sauce than a mayonnaise –  I ran it at high for about a minute, and then refrigerated it for an hour or so.  Still wasn’t mayonnaise consistency, more like a thick sauce – but tasted incredible, none the less)
Garlic Lime Chicken (without the sauce)
I served the chicken with wild rice, and yellow/green beans, sautéed with butter, garlic, shallot, cilantro, a tad of lemon juice for acidity,  and finished with blue cheese to offset the lemon.
The chicken is a little labor intensive, but uses pretty simple techniques – and worth the work. A blender will work in place of a food processor if you don’t have one. 
I served it with an awesome, food friendly Zinfandel by Black Ridge Vineyards, from Lodi, California.
This was a $9.99 Zinfandel, recommended by a local wine store.  Not sure how available it is across the country – it is, I am sure, one of the “sub” labels of a major winery – but I thought it was worth a shot, as I had already tried their Pinot Noir ( also ten bucks….normally a scary price point for Pinot – which is a temperamental grape and expensive to turn into a decent wine – but it was surprisingly good, full bodied, fruit forward, nice finish…) so I went with the Zin.  This was an interesting Zinfandel for sure – right out of the bottle, it had an amazing plum/cherry taste, with dark chocolate and black pepper overtones, and a really long finish, but very soft tannins and mouth feel.  Not a lot of alcohol up front, which was not that surprising with only a 13% ratio by volume (Zins tend to be VERY potent, and this is a lower alcohol content than many Cabs and Merlot’s I have had.  Zin’s can be rough right out of the bottle till the alcohol settles out – this one tasted like it had been in the decanter for an hour or so already!)
Decanting it softened it up further, but throw in some spicy chicken and WOW!  The wine got nice and chewy, full bodied, with heavy spice and bitter chocolate notes, tons of berry and REALLY smooth.  Probably one of the best ten dollar Zins I have ever had…a great blend of berry with spice – I am not a big fan of Zins that are hugely spicy – they taste like twigs fermented to me, but this one was really approachable, and could be enjoyed by both people familiar – and not – with the varietal.  
Bon Appetite!

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