By Diane Rossen Worthington

Tribune Content Agency

Vertical Roast Chicken with Balsamic and Dijon Glaze

Servings: 4

For the marinade:

2 tablespoons balsamic glaze

2 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon preferred garlic seasoning salt (see note)

For the meal:

One 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 pound fryer chicken, cleaned and patted dry

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 pound baby potatoes

3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

2 to 3 tangerines, washed and quartered

2 teaspoon chopped rosemary leaves, optional

2 cups chicken stock

Salt and pepper

1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a small mixing bowl, mixing to blend. Taste for seasoning.

2. Place the chicken on a foil lined chopping board and, starting around the main body cavity, carefully slip your hand under the skin, being sure not to tear it. (You may need to use gloves if you have long fingernails.) Pat the marinade under the skin and all over the bird on both sides on top of the skin. Place the chicken in a lock-top plastic bag and marinate for at least a few minutes and up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.

3. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the chicken on a vertical roaster that is sitting on a baking pan with a lip to catch the juices. Sprinkle the onions, potatoes, carrots and tangerine quarters on the bottom of the pan, and add 1 cup of the stock. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Roast the chicken for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a knife. The thigh should be 165 F. Halfway through the cooking, add the remaining cup of chicken stock, if the pan is dry, to keep the bottom of the pan from scorching. Let the chicken rest for at least10 minutes before carving. Carve the chicken and arrange on a serving platter. Scrape up the juices and vegetables and pour them over the chicken pieces to serve.

Recipe notes: The dish can be prepared up to 8 hours ahead through Step 1 and refrigerated. This is also excellent served cold.

I have had many a heated conversation over how to roast a chicken. I even taught a food writing class at The Culinary Institute in Napa Valley on how to write the perfect roast chicken recipe. As you can see, I really like roast chicken! It is pretty easy to prepare, but there are many variations and techniques that can make a cook wonder about the best way to roast a chicken.

I have experimented with low heat, high heat, convection, roasting on a rack, roasting with vegetables below acting as a rack, on a rotisserie and, my favorite technique, vertical roasting. I use a vertical roasting rack (you can find one on Amazon or other cooking stores). If you don’t want to invest in one, use a used beer can.

What makes vertical roasting so great? It’s the only way I have found to have an even browned and crispy skin all over the chicken. There is nothing to interfere with the heat roasting and crisping the chicken.

This is my standard Friday night dinner; and because it is almost a meal in one (I like to add a green vegetable), it is the definition of Seriously Simple. I find that cooking the chicken at 425 F keeps the meat juicy and the skin browned and crisp. The blending of grainy Dijon mustard along with sweet balsamic glaze and zesty fresh ginger is a nice balance of flavors for the marinade, which adds color and depth of flavor to the simple chicken taste. Watch carefully if you have a large chicken that needs more time to finish; tent the top with aluminum foil to protect the chicken from burning.

What makes this dish super simple is that I carve the bird right off the vertical roaster so you don’t have to mess up a carving board. Then I spoon the vegetables and juices right over the top. You can serve this on a platter or on individual plates. To drink, this dish calls for an assertive red wine, specifically a merlot, a cabernet sauvignon or a Rhone varietal such as a syrah. If you love white try sauvignon blanc from New Zealand.

Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.

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