By Stir It Up! Editor
(© 2014 Ming Tsai)
1 6-pound whole organic or free-range chicken, rubbed with oil and seasoned well at least 20 minutes before cooking if you did not have time to *brine it properly
1/2 cup smashed garlic cloves
2 large sweet potatoes, 1-inch dice
2 large fennel, 1/2-inch slices
1 large red onion, sliced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 cup Oceanspray cranberries
2 small disks palm sugar, chopped finely with a knife
1/2 cup Shaoxing wine or sherry [editor's note: substitute cooking wine if you prefer]
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Pre-heat the oven to maximum, usually 550 degrees F., with roasting pan pre-heating.
2. In a large bowl, combine garlic, potatoes and fennel and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with a little canola oil and toss to coat.
3. When oven is preheated, dump mixture in roasting pan and top with chicken, breast side up. Turn pan once, back to front, until browned, about 15-25 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan coated lightly with oil, combine onion, ginger and cranberries and sweat. Add palm sugar and deglaze with Shaoxing, stirring; allow to reduce by half.
5. Transfer mixture to a blender and blend smooth, drizzling in just enough oil to bring everything together and emulsify. Take care in allowing any steam to escape through the top center of blender cover, using a folded kitchen towel and your hand to cover the opening in the center. Season and check for flavor.
6. After 15-25 minutes of cooking, start to glaze the chicken with cranberry mixture and reduce the heat to 325 degrees F. Stir the veggies. Roast for 45-55 minutes more, glazing periodically, until a wing can be moved back and forth with ease. Alternatively, place a thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone – when it registers 160 degrees F., it's done (carry-over cooking will take it to 165 degrees F.).
7. Serve roasted veggies and glazed chicken family-style on a platter.
*Brine method: Use sweet sea water ratio: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup kosher salt to 1 quart water, multiply as necessary to fully submerge protein in a large container. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Rinse under running water before cooking.