It’s that time again when I post something special for the meat-eaters that’s still healthy and super delicious! Today that recipe is my Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Cherries.
I know some of my followers and readers or even those who might have spotted my blog on one or two occasion would assume that I am vegan… but, I’m not. I simply cook food that I love eating and it just so happens that that means lots of veggie-centric dishes that are yummy and healthy. That being said, there are some meats that you won’t see popping up on my blog because I don’t really eat them; I am a huge foodie though so if I’m in Japan with some high quality Wagyu beef in front of me, I wouldn’t leave without having a taste. In any case, my top priority is eating well and eating healthy; no frills, no trend following, no pretension. So now that we’re all on the same page let’s move on to the recipe!
For this recipe I got my hands on some farm raised, organic chicken from my mom’s friend who raises these birds as a healthy source of protein, that means no hormones, way less fat on the meat itself and well, quite honestly, it also means you’re eating chickens that chow down on worms ever so often; you can skip ahead if you’re grossed out but keep in mind that this is what you get when you wanna go for organic. Essentially it makes for really good meat, so I personally couldn’t care less.
I used the bottom half of my chicken for this recipe, that’s just the legs and highs in one whole piece. I made sure to trim away any fat beneath the skin and on the back section of the chicken part, then I scored the skin to help get it crispy in the oven! My bird went with my organic, freshly picked rosemary which I’ve featured several times on my blog and I rubbed the scored flesh with salt and pepper before scattering the rosemary all over the chicken. I got my bird into the oven, near the top rack and let it roast on high.
But let’s backtrack a bit because I’ve been telling this story in reverse. First, I made the cherry ‘topping’, if you will. It’s not a sauce or jam, not really a chutney either although it could be called that; yeah, lets go with chutney then. So I made the cherry chutney with cherries from my grammy’s tree which guys, has been there since before I was a tot, I mean, I pretty much grew up under this tree and here I am today still eating it’s fruit. So grateful for all the fruits this beast of a tree keeps giving! My strong and amazing grampy used to be the one who’d pick bags full of these cherries for me during this season and I’d make all sorts of foods and drinks from them; he’d stand on a makeshift chair and reach into the high branches for the cherries, he’d package them and then bring them to my house for me. Since he’s no longer here, I’ve taken his place as cherry picker (and well, my brother too when he’s here and we both use grampy’s chair).
So the cherry chutney is incredibly easy. I remove the flesh from the seeds first, making sure to leave the flesh in large pieces; this can take a little while but if you work fast it shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes. Squeeze the juices from the seeds back into the bowl with the cherries, you wanna gather up all the juice you can muster from those seeds. Then in a sauce pan, I added the de-seeded cherries with the juice, some rum and honey and turned the heat up to medium. I let this reduce slowly until it’s reduced in size but still has a good amount of that liquid left behind. Then I add some cornstarch and let it cook for 5 more minutes. It’ll be thick but easily spreadable. I love the tangy cherries with a bit of sweetness from the honey with the earthiness of the rosemary and the crispy, savoury chicken!
This dish would be great for date night because it’s so simple yet it has the taste and look of a dish you could find in an upscale restaurant.
So when my chicken has gotten crispy and is just a few minutes shy of perfectly cooked, I slid it out and slathered my cherry chutney on top, then back into the oven until completely cooked. The cherries bake into the skin and become like the skin of the chicken itself!
I love the cherries with the rosemary so much that I added some rosemary to my leftover cherries and had it on some really good toasted bread; delicious!!!
I had my Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Cherries with some baked sweet potatoes which I dressed up with some herby olive oil. I also splashed some plain, tangy yogurt on top but that’s optional; I love tang so I always go over board with the yogurt and the lime! Haha.
So that’s it guys! An easy non-vegan meal that’s still healthy and can work as dinner on the weekends or for a special night with your special someone.
Check out the recipe below!
Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Cherries
Tangy and sweet cherries paired with rosemary make this dish a unique and super tasty one that’s still healthy!
4 cups cherries, de-seeded (with juice)
1 tablespoon white overproof rum (Jamaican preferably but any rum will do the trick)
1 tablespoon honey (more if you want it sweeter)
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 chicken, bottom half of legs and thighs
Salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1-1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sprig of rosemary
yogurt or lime (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Add the cherries with the juices to a sauce pan with the rum and honey over medium heat. Cook until the juices reduce and the cherry flavour becomes deeper.
- Add the cornstarch at this stage, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. The chutney should be spreadable but thick. If it’s too thick, add some water.
- While the cherries reduce, start on the chicken by removing any fat and scoring the chicken skin.
- Season with the salt, pepper, olive oil and rosemary.
- Pop it into the oven on a shelf close to the top. Roast for 30-35 minutes until the skin becomes super crispy. Make sure the chicken is almost done but not quite; use a thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 155°F to 160°F.
- Remove from the oven and slather the cherry chutney over top.
- Put the chicken back into the over for another 5-10 minutes. It will be done at 165°F. If you are an experienced cook, you will be able to look at the chicken and know exactly when it is done, no thermometer needed.
- Plate with sweet potatoes and a splash of yogurt or lime.
I hope you shine today!