Roasting chicken makes it easy to forget that some days your job is kind of boring and takes up all your chicken-roasting time.

Here’s the best part of my yesterday:

Paprika Roast Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken, 3–5 lbs.
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.

Pat chicken dry (if for some reason it’s not already), and then loosen the skin on the breast, thighs, and legs with your fingers.

Combine paprika, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, sea salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Toss together, and then rub all over chicken, top and bottom, making sure to get some under the skin. Sprinkle inside cavity, and shove the garlic in there as well. Admire handiwork. It will be a lovely colour.

Place in a pan with about 1/2 cup of water (or dry white wine, if it’s payday – with roast chicken, I recommend the Quails’ Gate Chardonnay) and bake, covered, and in the lower-third of your oven for an hour.

Go about preparing your side dishes. I stewed tomatoes, onions, and okra in a delightful madras curry with too much ginger and garlic. Mmmm.

Increase oven temperature to 450°F, keeping covered, and cook the chicken for another 20 minutes. Once the buzzer goes, take off the lid (or, as in my case, aluminum foil), and cook for another 10–15 minutes, or until skin looks golden, crispy, and delicious.

Re-cover, and let sit for 10 minutes while setting the table and assembling sides. Then eat. So good.

I’ll buy a camera soon so that you can see the things I see and enjoy them just the same.

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