This is one of my favorite ways to roast a whole chicken during the holidays. The hint of cinnamon and allspice adds just enough flavor to give this bird a real punch.
- 1 whole Smart Chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds)
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 onion, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 tart apple, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup unfiltered apple juice
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Rinse the chicken inside and out and pat dry. Remove any excess fat around the cavity and neck. Carefully loosen the skin from the breast and place 4 sage leaves on each side of the breast between the skin and meat. Place 2 sage leaves under the skin where the breast meets the thigh, on each side.
Combine the salt, black pepper, cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and stir to mix. Rub the chicken all over with the spice mixture to coat evenly. Stuff the chicken cavity with half the onion and half the apple. Tie the legs together using kitchen twine. Place the chicken breast-side up in a shallow roasting pan. Pour the wine and apple juice in the bottom of the roasting pan and add the remaining onion and apple to the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the pan on the center rack of the oven and roast for about 1 hour 30 minutes, basting every 20 minutes with the pan juices, until the chicken is golden brown and the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165°F.
Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, loosely cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Serve warm with the pan juices poured over the top.
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Pairing: With the spices in the chicken, a syrah or viognier would both be perfect, depending on whether you prefer red or white.