It’s still pretty hot out, but I can’t put off posting this recipe anymore. It’s worth heating up your kitchen on a hot summer day to make this for dinner. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you may remember last year when I posted a recipe for thyme-roasted chicken and I said it was the best roast chicken I’ve ever had. I’m not going back on that, in fact I still stand by that statement and I still make it regularly. But. Even the best recipes can get stale if you make them over and over again. That’s where this chili-roasted chicken comes in to save the day. Now I alternate between the two recipes so we never get tired of eating either of them!
The thing that attracted me to this recipe in the first place is that the method is really similar to the other recipe but the flavors are completely different. The key in both recipes is to rub the herb/spice mixture underneath the skin, directly onto the meat. That makes the chicken extra tender and flavorful. This recipe uses a spice rub with chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano and garlic which gives the chicken tons of flavor, even if you don’t eat the skin. But don’t worry if you’re sensitive to spicy foods, it’s not overpowering at all.
I said this in my last roasted chicken post, but it’s worth repeating: don’t be intimidated by the thought of making a whole chicken. I used to be that way when I first started cooking, but now it’s my favorite thing to make. Roasted chicken is one of the easiest dinners there is. It takes about an hour and there’s no basting or really much of any hands-on times at all. The potatoes are sprinkled with smoked paprika and roasted right along with the chicken. To round out the meal, I’m also including the recipe for southwest green beans which involves nothing more than steaming the beans and then tossing them with some tomatilla salsa and cilantro. The beans are ready in less than 10 minutes and the flavors in the salsa perfectly compliment the spices on the chicken and potatoes. In the end you have a delicious, healthy and fulfilling meal with very little effort. My favorite kind of dinner!
Chili-Roasted Chicken and Potatoes
adapted from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook
Dinner | Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 1 hour | Total time: 1 hour 25 min
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 5 tsp. smoked paprika (or regular paprika), divided
- 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 whole chicken (3 1/2 – 4 lbs.), giblets discarded
- 1 1/2 lbs. small red potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces (quarters or eighths depending on the size of the potato)
- 1 tsbp. olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- Move racks to the middle and lower third of your oven. Preheat to 375 degrees (F). You’ll need a large roasting pan, preferably with a rack in it. Spray the rack with nonstick spray. Also, spray a 9×13 baking dish.
- In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, 2 tsp. paprika, oregano, cumin, 1 tsp. salt and garlic. Add enough water to form a thick paste.
- Place the rinsed and dried chicken on a work surface. Starting from the neck end, use your fingertips to gently separate the skin from the flesh of the chicken, including thigh and leg areas.
- Rub 2/3 of the chili paste under the skin, rub the rest of paste all over the chicken. Optional: If you’re not concerned with cutting calories, I would recommend that you drizzle about 1/2 tbsp. of olive oil on the chicken and rub it around to make the skin crispier. Generously season the cavity with additional salt and pepper. Tuck the wings under the breasts. Using kitchen twine (or if you’re like me, thread from your sewing kit), tie the legs together securely.
- Place the chicken on the middle rack in your oven and roast about an hour or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees (F). Loosely cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
- Meanwhile, put potatoes in a bowl. Toss with oil, remaining 3 tsp. paprika, remaining 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Transfer to prepared baking dish, making sure the potatoes are in a single layer. After the chicken has roasted for 20 minutes, put the potatoes on the lower oven rack and roast, tossing once or twice, until tender and lightly browned, about 40 minutes.*
*If your chicken is larger than 4 lbs. you will probably need to cook it for more than an hour, aim for about 15 minutes per pound. Make sure to wait until there’s 40 minutes left to put in the potatoes. When you take out the chicken to rest, test the potatoes and see if they’re tender enough. You can put them back in for 10 minutes if necessary or else cover them in foil until the chicken is ready.
Serving size: 1/6 of the chicken (without skin) and potatoes
Southwest Green Beans
adapted from Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook
Side Dish, Vegetable | Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 5 min | Cook time: 7 min | Total time: 15 min
- 1 1/2 lb. fresh green beans, trimmed
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup tomatillo salsa
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Steam green beans in a steamer basket until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes.
- Transfer to a medium saucepan and toss with tomatillo salsa until covered.
- Sprinkle with cilantro.
If you like your beans a bit more tender and less crisp (like me), you can put the saucepan over low heat, cover and cook for about 10 more minutes or until the beans are to your liking. Don’t add the cilantro until you’re ready to serve.