Thursday, February 6, 2014

Roasted Achiote Chicken with Veggies and Aioli

This meal was a feast for my eyes long before my taste buds got involved. Once the chicken has marinated over night, the assembly of this one dish wonder is amazingly quick.  Achiote paste is the base for this earthy marinade that originated in the Yucatan region of Mexico.  If you can't find the paste in your local market, be prepared to use some elbow grease with your mortar and pestle.
Rumor has it that annoto seeds are extremely hard and can break a spice grinder.  I followed anothers lead to soak the seeds in water for thirty minutes and they were still hard.  The good news...once the paste is made, wrap tablespoon sized portions in plastic and freeze for later use.
There are many versions of Achiote paste.  I combined recipes from and to make a paste from annoto, coriander and cumin seeds, along with black peppercorns, kosher salt, allspice berries, oregano, garlic cloves and bitter orange juice. 
I altered the original recipe for Roasted Achiote Chicken with Potatoes, Broccoli and Tangerine Aioli from  Replacing the tangerines with my homegrown mandarin oranges as well as adding more vegetables and spices. 

1 Tb Achiote paste
1/3 C mandarin orange juice + 1 Tb
Zest from the mandarins 
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp  ground cumin
1 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp kosher salt
4 organic chicken drumsticks
6 organic chicken thighs
2 pounds red potatoes
1 1/2 pounds broccoli
1 large red onion, sliced
1/2 C mayonnaise
1 tsp chili garlic sauce

The night before assembling this casserole combine the Achiote paste, juice, garlic, spices and 1 1/2 teaspoons of zest in a blender until smooth. Using a spatula to keep your hands from turning yellow, spread the marinade all over the chicken, cover and refrigerate.  A great mix of organic red potatoes, broccoli and red onion slices are tossed with olive oil and garlic pepper to create a bed for the chicken pieces.  I think sweet potatoes would be a great addition.

Heat the oven to 450°.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and arrange on top of vegetables. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 30 to 40 minutes until skin is brown and crisp.
Make the orange aioli while the dish is cooking.  Mix the reserved tablespoon of juice and 1 teaspoon zest with the mayonnaise and chili garlic sauce;  taste and salt if needed.   I almost didn't make the aioli, but I'm glad I did.  Still delicious the second night, I had to promise to make this dish again.

No comments:

Post a Comment