Fittest loser
Article updated: 10/23/2012 11:34 AM

Sweet Harvest Glazed Chicken atop Rustic Vegetable Quinoa

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1 Mother Hen whole chicken, cleaned, giblets removed

1 can (16 ounces) hard cider (such as Magners Irish Cider)

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large yellow onion, sliced, divided

2 large sweet potatoes, chopped into inch cubes

large celeriac (celery root), chopped into inch cubes

1 jar (10 ounces) black cherry jam

2 tablespoons butter

1 tablespoon honey

1 bag (8 ounces) dried plums (pitted prunes)

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

2 cups dry quinoa

2 cups water

Olive oil for roasting vegetables

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Using a can opener, take off the entire top of the beer. Pour half of the beer in a cup for later. Add cup sliced onions to the beer.

Open the legs of the chicken and insert the cider can into the chicken so it appears the chicken is standing up. Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken and can on an ovenproof dish and roast 1 hour and 15 minutes.

For the glaze: Dump entire jar of jam spread into a saucepan, add butter, honey and remaining cider; bring to a boil and cook until the jam thins into a liquid. Add the cayenne pepper and simmer the glaze until the chicken has cooked for an hour. Brush the glaze on the chicken, then return the chicken back to the oven and increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Keep the glaze simmering so that you can glaze the chicken again once it's finished cooking.

Continue roasting the chicken until bird temperature reaches 180 degrees. Brush the chicken again with the glaze after it comes out of the oven. Let the chicken rest for 15-20 minutes.

While the chicken is roasting: Combine sweet potatoes and celeriac in a bowl; add olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well. Pour vegetables on to the foil-lined pan and put in oven along side the chicken. When the chicken comes out of the oven turn the oven temperature to 400 and continue to roast the vegetables for 15 minutes or until vegetables are fork-tender.

For the quinoa: Soak quinoa for 15 minutes in a bowl of cold water. Drain well and then combine the grain with 2 cups of water, add a splash or two of the leftover cider and salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30-35 minutes covered. Add the dried plums and let the mixture sit for 5 minutes before serving.

To plate: Spoon the dried plum quinoa on the bottom of a large serving platter and top with the roasted vegetables. Place entire chicken in the middle and brush one last coat of the glaze on the bird.

Serves four to six.

Michelle Abraham

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