Smokey Bacon and Mandarin Orange, Whole Roasted Chicken

By Michael Harris-Arzon, The Simplistic Professional

The roasting of meat and vegetables, has long been one of my favorite ways to prepare a meal.  The sweetness that comes with caremelized vegetables trumps steaming them every time.  The tenderness and intense flavor that comes from roasting meat, is extremely difficult to achieve on top of the stove.  Combined, the depth of flavor that is produced is so mouth watering, your friends and family will be begging for more.

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Roasting Chicken
  • 1/2 Lb. Bacon, Cut Into 1″ Pieces
  • 1 Small Red Onion, Chopped Medium
  • 2 Stalks Celery, Chopped Medium
  • 1 Can Mandarin Orange Slices
  • 2 Tbs. Italian Seasoning
  • 2 Tbs. Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • 2 1/2 Tbs. Applewood Smoked Seasoning

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Into a small mixing bowl, add your chopped onion, celery, 1 tbs. Italian Seasoning, 1/2 tbs. Applewood Smoked Seasoning and 1 tbs. cracked black pepper.  Toss together so that your vegetables are coated with seasoning and set aside.
  3. Next, take your whole chicken and rinse thoroughly with cool water.  Be sure that you have removed the bag that contains the neck and gizzards from the inside cavity.  Pat dry with paper towels and place into your roasting pan, breast side up.
  4. Use a large spoon to fill the cavity with your chopped vegetables.
  5. Now, take a pairing knife and cut a small slit under the skin above each breast, at the same end of your chicken that has the stuffed cavity.  Use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the breast on each side.
  6. Next, take half of your orange slices and place under the skin above the breast.  Repeat with the other side.  Gently massage to ensure that the orange slices are spread out across the breast.  Then, take your bacon slices and place on top of the orange slices over each breast.
  7. Finally, sprinkle your Italian Seasoning, Applewood Smoked Seasoning and fresh cracked black pepper over the chicken.  Cover with your roasting pan cover or foil and place on the center rack of your oven and cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours, until the internal temperature has reached 165 degrees.
  8. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving with your favorite vegetables and sides.
  9. Enjoy this smokey, updated version of the classic, roasted chicken with your family and friends the next time you get that craving for roasted meats!
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