The aroma of roasting chicken with the deliciously fragrant, pear apple smell of baking quince will warm your heart on a crisp, fall evening. The combination of allspice, cinnamon and chimichurri spice with the fruitiness of the apple cider adds complexity to the caramelized onions, carrots and quince. The pan drippings make the perfect au jus sauce. I recommend serving this autumnal dinner with basmati rice and a kale Caesar salad!
– Leslie Mackie
1½ cups unfiltered apple cider
¼ cup white wine
2 tsp fresh garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp ground allspice
1½ tsp ground chimichurri spice
2 lbs organic chicken, back removed and cut into 8 pieces
1 yellow onion, peeled, cut in half and then in 1-inch wedges
3 quinces, core removed and cut into ½-inch slices*
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 4 pieces each
¼ cup olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
*Cutting raw quince is difficult. A quince resembles an apple, but it’s much firmer. Using a sharp chef’s knife, I make the first cut straight down, just to the side of the core. Then I turn the cut side down and repeat until I’m left with a 1½-inch square (the core). I then cut the pieces into ½-inch slices. They will oxidize and brown, so tossing them with the marinade soon a er they are cut will help prevent that. However, they brown as they cook, so a little oxidation won’t show.
In a medium saucepan, combine the apple cider, white wine, garlic, oregano, thyme, salt, cinnamon, allspice and chimichurri spice. Warm over medium heat for 3 minutes and let cool. Reserve ¼ cup of the marinade to later toss with the onion, quince and carrot.
Place the cut chicken pieces into a medium bowl and cover with the cooled marinade. Press the chicken pieces down until they are all submerged. Cover with plastic and allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. In a separate bowl, toss the reserved marinade with the onion wedges, quince and carrots. Refrigerate until ready to roast the chicken.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Prepare a large baking dish (a 13 x 9-inch lasagna pan works well) by brushing the sides and bottom with 2 Tbsp olive oil.
Place the chicken into the pan, skin side up in a single layer. Add the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil to the marinated vegetables and toss, then add them to the baking dish, tucking them in gaps to create a single layer for even cooking and browning. Pour any remaining marinade over the top.
Bake for 35 minutes or until the chicken is browned and cooked to your liking (chicken should reach 165°F).
Remove dish from oven and transfer the chicken and the caramelized vegetables to your serving dish. Pour the juices remaining in the pan over the chicken and garnish with chopped parsley.
Printable PDF here.