The original method for this dish comes from a rustic “beer can” chicken recipe. The bird is propped upright by the full can of liquid and is kept moist throughout the cooking process by its evaporation while in a closed pot. I’ve put together a rub that spices the outside of the meat while the flavored moisture cooks the inside. The poultry, combined with a fruity sauce, carrots, and mushrooms balances well with the quiet wild rice.
Curry Spiced Chicken and Wild Rice
- 1 whole 3-4 1/2 lb chicken
- 1 lb carrots
- 3 stalks celery
- 2 red onions
- 2 Tbls. olive oil
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 Tbls. lime juice
- 1 Tbls. cherry or blackberry jam
- 1 20 oz. can pineapple with juice
- 1 Tbls. butter
- scant 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 Tbls. ground cumin
- 1 Tbls. curry powder
- 1 Tbls. chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
- 1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. salt
You will need an empty glass jar that can fit inside the chicken cavity. (I used an empty jelly jar with a narrow mouth.) You will also need a very tall pot with lid. (I used my canning pot.)
Preheat oven to 350 F and move the rack to the bottom of the oven. Remove all other racks. Rough chop 1/2 of a red onion and 1/2 tsp garlic. Move these to a food processor and add list of spices for the spice rub. Process into a paste. Remove bowl of processor and set next to your sink.
Open pineapple can and pour juice into glass jelly jar. Set pineapple chunks next to the stove for later. Set tall stockpot and jelly jar next to spice rub by sink. Reserve 1 tsp. of the spice rub paste and set in small bowl by stove top.
Open chicken and drain. Remove anything left in top or bottom cavities. Lift skin away from the body, carefully to avoid tearing, and break any tendons connecting skin to bones. Use spice rub paste to coat the meat of the chicken under the skin, including down into the legs and around the back of the bird.
Insert the glass jar full of pineapple juice into the base of the chicken and stand it up it the tall stockpot. Now scrub your sink and your hands and place the bird on bottom rack in oven. Cover with lid. Don’t rinse the food processor bowl, just set it back on the food processor. Set timer for 1 hour. Relax.
After an hour, you will need to start the rice in the rice cooker and begin on the sauce.
Pineapple Carrot Sauce
Wash and chop carrots into 3 inch pieces. Start steaming the carrots now. Remove stems of mushrooms and wash tops. Slice mushrooms 1/4″ thick and set aside.
Finely chop celery, second onion, and 1/2 tsp garlic. Warm oil in a quart pan on medium. Add onion and celery for two minutes stirring occasionally, then add 1/2 tsp. garlic and cook for 1 more minute, then add reserved 1 tsp. of the spice paste. Stir to coat the onions and celery.
Add 1 cup orange juice and 1 tablespoon of lime juice and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Incorporate the 1 Tablespoon cherry jam, then remove from heat. Pour mixture into the food processor and blend until smooth.
Pour pineapple chunks and raisins into the now empty saucepan and return pot to medium heat. Set strainer with a long handle over the pot. With a wooden spoon, stir puree through strainer into the pot until all liquid has returned to the pot.
Discard the thick chunks and rinse out strainer. Add the carrots to the mix. Move the pan to a back burner turned on low and cover.
Place medium to large sauté pan on stove top and melt butter and stir in white wine over medium heat. Add 1/2 tsp. garlic and cook until sauce is reduced by half before adding mushrooms. Cook mushrooms until tender, then salt and pepper to taste.
The bird is done when the legs and other meat starts coming loose from the bone. If you cook it too long the whole thing will fall apart. Be careful when you lift the chicken out of the pot to the serving dish. The wings of mine sometimes stick to the sides and the chicken must be disengaged from the glass jar as well.
Plate with rice on the bottom, mushrooms with sauce over the rice. Layer the carrots and pineapple next and top with slices of chicken.