Guajillo-Tamarind Glazed Roast Chicken

Representing the southwest in our regional Thanksgiving menu is this chicken recipe with a nice glaze made with chiles and tamarind. I thought the combination was really interesting since chile brings a nice heat and the tamarind offers a sweet yet sour flavor. It was really aromatic while roasting up and this recipe is easy to adapt for other meats like pork or even shrimp.

Guajillo-Tamarind Glazed Roast Chicken
recipe adapted from Cooking Light

1 head garlic (about 2 oz.)
8 stemmed dried guajillo chiles (2 oz. total)
1/2 cup tamarind concentrate*
1 cup lightly packed rinsed fresh cilantro
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

* If you cannot find tamarind concentrate at your local ethnic market, you can combine 1/4 cup lime juice and 1/4 cup molasses as a substitution for 1/2 cup tamarind concentrate.

Cut top 1/2 inch off garlic; wrap loosely in foil. Bake in a 350° oven until soft when pressed, about 45 minutes. Let cool, then squeeze garlic from skins into a 3- to 4-quart pan (discard skins). Add chiles, tamarind concentrate, cilantro, 1 cup water, honey, lime juice, pepper, and salt to pan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often; remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Pour into a blender or food processor and whirl until smooth; set aside.

Roast Chicken:
1 large roasting chicken
prepared guajillo tamarind glaze above
1 onion (8 oz.)
2 carrots (6 oz. total), rinsed
4 stalks celery (8 oz. total), rinsed
1 orange (8 oz.)
2 lemons (6 oz. each)
1 lime (3 oz.)
4 dried guajillo chiles (1 oz. total)
8 cloves garlic, peeled
6 sprigs fresh thyme, rinsed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove giblets and neck from chicken cavity if included; discard or reserve for other uses. Rinse chicken inside and out; pat dry. Rub about a third of the guajillo-tamarind glaze on the outside of the chicken. Place chicken, breast up, on a V-shaped rack in a 12- by 17-inch roasting pan; pour remaining glaze into bottom of pan, then pour in 1 cup of water.

Peel onion and carrots; rinse celery, orange, lemons, and lime. Cut carrots and celery into chunks; cut onion, orange, lemons, and lime into quarters. Arrange vegetables, fruit, chiles, garlic, and thyme in roasting pan around and under rack.

Roast the chicken covered with foil in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours; if juices in bottom of roasting pan threaten to scorch, add 1/2 cup water at a time to pan. When a thermometer inserted through thickest part of breast to the bone registers 155°, remove chicken from oven. Brush all over with juices in pan (if liquid is too thick to coat turkey in a thin, even layer, dilute with 1/2 cup more water). Place chicken back into the oven and continue roasting until chicken is well browned and thermometer registers 160°, about 15 minutes longer.

Transfer chicken to a platter. Let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes before carving. Pour juices in bottom of pan through a fine strainer into a 2-cup glass measure; discard solids and reserve juices for gravy.

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