This is a wonderful recipe from Peggy Knickerbocker‘s book Simple Soirees! I love the ease of this recipe. The sauce is delicious! I think you could reduce the olive oil and butter in browning the chicken as it is hard to degrease it when making the sauce, unless you have one of those handy grease separator cups. The chicken cooks up to perfection and is super moist! Serve with roasted potatoes and garlic spinach.
1 medium roasting chicken, about 3.5 lbs
2 T. unsalted butter
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup ruby port
1/2 cup orange juice
3 T. heavy cream
zest of 1 orange, grated
salt and freshly ground black pepper
When you bring the chicken home from the market, unwrap it and sprinkle it generously with salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. Bring the bird to room temperature before cooking. Do not rub off the salt.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large ovenproof skillet or Dutch oven, warm the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Brown the chicken breast side down for 3-5 minutes, then turn over and do the same on the other side. Place pan in oven and roast for 45 minutes. Pour the port over chicken and baste it. Roast for 10 minutes. Add the orange juice and baste again. Roast for 5 minutes. Chicken is done when the juices run clear and the thigh wiggles easily. Remove the chicken from oven and transfer to a cutting board and let it rest, while you make the sauce.
Skim as much fat off the top of the juices as you can and discard. Place pan over medium heat and add the cream, stirring up the crispy bits on the bottom. Add about half of the orange zest and allow sauce to reduce for a few minutes. Carve the chicken and transfer to a serving platter. Pour some of the sauce over the chicken, transfer the rest to a gravy boat and serve at the table. Sprinkle with remaining orange zest.