I’ve always loved the idea of cooking with tea, and what better way to begin than using this beverage to baste a roasting chicken. I have a whole cabinet of tea but decided on using one with some spice, just to experiment. When I was in Harvard Square in Cambridge a few weeks ago, I bought some Spicy Ceylon from Tealuxe. But if you don’t have all the crazy teas I have in my cabinet (my husband teases me that I don’t drink plain tea), you can use a black like Darjeeling or keemum—or whatever you like. This result: moist, flavorful chicken; crispy skin.
1 4-5lb whole chicken
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1 orange, halved
1 tablespoon black tea leaves
1 cup water
Make the chicken
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. Squeeze the juice from the orange over the whole chicken, then place the halves into the cavity of the chicken. Place tea leaves in a filter bag, and place on the bottom of the roasting pan surrounding the chicken. Add water to the pan. Cover and place into the oven.
Roast the chicken for about 1 hour, then remove cover and baste with the drippings, cooking for another 30 minutes. When finished, remove sachet; the internal temperature of the chicken should be 180 degrees. Let the chicken rest on cutting board for about 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with vegetables of your choice. I like mine with mashed potatoes and salad.