I have no idea how many recipes for roast chicken there are, but what I can tell you is that I’ve tried many, and this is one of my favorites. Pollo al durazno, as we call it in Spanish, is very easy to make, and I can fix everything in advance and bake it at the last minute while I make the side dishes I’ll serve with it. Usually, these only include some garlicky rice -white and fluffy-, and a salad. Depending on my mood, and on the season, I’ll add some roasted sweet potatoes too.
Sometimes I don´t have the time to marinate the chicken and bake it immediately, but even when I don’t,the result is delicious. When left marinating overnight, however, it becomes infused with the flavors of this juice, and it reaches a whole new level of taste. To this marinade, you may add some Pisco or better yet, white wine. A few dried herbs also work wonders.
The spotlight of this entree belongs to the canned peaches added to the chicken while it roasts, giving a bright color and a sweet and summery note to the dish. If it’s summer, and they’re in season, you can use very ripe fresh peaches. But we all know ripe peaches can be hard to find. They usually need a few days on your kitchen counter to develop the right texture and sweetness. So whenever you’re in a rush, can’t be bothered to look for them, or they are simply out of season, don’t think twice and get canned or jarred ones instead.
I like to drain them and then dry them with a kitchen towel. After that I grill them in a pan until they get charred marks on top. After this I place them on top of the chicken pieces for the final 10 minutes, to warm up in the oven. The result is amazing. Canned apricots or pineapple are great too!
Even though I never eat it, I like to cook the chicken with the skin on to keep the flesh from drying out in the oven. The skin seals the moisture in, giving succulent meat every time. Besides, it acquires a beautiful golden brown color, which I like to look at on my plate, because there is nothing less appealing than pale and colorless food, especially when it comes to meat, don´t you think?
Do you have leftovers? Shred the chicken and make a sandwich or a salad the following day. You will have a nice lunch to take to work or put in your kids’ lunchboxes.
- 2 chicken legs and thighs
- Salt and pepper
- Juice of 1 orange
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Hoisin (optional)
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon potato starch + 2 tablespoons water
- 1 can peaches in syrup, drained
- White fluffy rice
- Green salad
- Wash the chicken, separate the pieces and discard the fat but let the skin on. This will keep the chicken from drying out. Season with salt and pepper and put on a baking dish.
- In a bowl combine orange juice, soy sauce, Hoisin, honey, mustard and grated ginger. Add to the chicken. Add the garlic.
- You may prepare the chicken in advance up to this point. Cover and keep refrigerated, at least for two hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Bake the chicken until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate, put the sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Dissolve the potato starch in the water, and add slowly to the sauce, stirring until lightly thick.
- Put the chicken pieces back in the baking pan, cover with the sauce, place half a peach on top of each piece, and continue baking for 10 minutes.
- You may cook the peaches in a BBQ pan, if you want.
- Serve the chicken with the peach on top, covered with the sauce. Put some white fluffy rice on the side, and serve with a lightly dressed green salad or carrot salad.