Spice It Up

this fabulous image is from http://www.flickr.com/photos/ellessu/2647580861

How do you make roast chicken not boring? Spice it up. My all time favorite spice source is Penzy’s. They have a huge selection of the best quality spices at really reasonable prices. And if you’re lucky enough to have one of their retail stores near you, stop what you’re doing right now and go there. Because those of us who get our Penzy’s fix via mail order will never know the experience of walking in the door and being completely enveloped by the aroma of ginger and cumin and pepper and sage. Unlike the olfactory confusion you get when walking by the perfume counter in a department store, somehow all these different smells work together. And they’re intoxicating. I can only imagine what it smelled like along the Silk Road from all the exotic spices making their way to the New World.

In addition to how wonderful a Penzy’s store smells, you can sample the spices. More than once I ordered a spice blend because the description in the catalog made it sound so good. But when I got it, I just didn’t like it. Now I can avoid that with a trip around the Capital Beltway to my closest Penzy’s.

I’ll be honest, I haven’t ordered anything from them in a while. I’ve been picking up my spices at the grocery store. But they haven’t given up on me. I still get their catalog in the mail. I think it’s time to go through the spice rack and see what needs to be restocked. The rule of thumb is that dried herbs and spices really only last about six months. And I know I’ve got stuff in there that’s been hanging around since before the kitchen renovation.

This recipe has potential but didn’t really hit the mark. I think it’s time to head back to Penzy’s in Rockville and see what flavor combinations I can come up with to really spice it up.

Roast Chicken with Cumin, Paprika, and Allspice

Bon Appetit: Fast, Easy, Fresh

  • 1 6 to 6 1/2 pound chicken
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large lemon, halved

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse and dry chicken. Place chicken on a rack set inside a sheet pan. Combine oil, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, allspice, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl to form a paste. Rub spice mixture all over chicken and under the skin. Roast chicken for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, squeeze lemon halves over chicken and carefully place lemon halves inside chicken cavity. Continue to roast until chicken is cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees, about 1 hour longer. Transfer to platter and let stand 15 minutes.

{Printable Recipe}

4 thoughts on “Spice It Up

  1. I think once the weather gets a little cooler and we get through a little more of the freezer inventory, roast chicken is going on the top of the to-do list.

    And I should update this post to say that the Penzy’s store now keeps their sample spices in closed jars. So no more of that lovely spice store smell. That really disappointed me when I walked in there a few weeks ago. Of course, it didn’t stop me from buying a basket full of product.

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