Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nicole’s 10-Minute Chicken Rub

When fresh roasting chickens recently went on sale in the Time Zone and at the Latitude Where I Live, I bought several. At just $8 for a two-pound chicken, we couldn’t have eaten more cheaply. I didn’t want to stuff this bird, so quartered a fresh lemon and tucked two lemon quarters inside the cavity. Rubbing my own seasoning mix into the skin, I popped the uncovered bird into a 325 deg. F. oven for an hour, basted it with 2 tbsp. lemon juice and the pan juices midway through cooking, and allowed it to roast a further hour (total cooking time: 2 hr.), until the leg and thigh jiggled nicely, signaling that the bird was done. 
The pan juices were simply too good to waste, so I heated them over the stove top, mixing in 2 tbsp. tapioca starch (see Note) until the juices thickened. Stirring constantly, I gradually added a cup of water mixed with a teaspoon of bouillon powder. When the bouillon and starch solution approached the right consistency (not too thin, not too thick, but just right!), I poured it through a strainer and into the gravy boat. Adding tapioca starch instead of flour produced a less calorific (but still terrific) gravy! 
The lemon inside the bird’s cavity kept the chicken beautifully moist, as did my rub, which sealed in the juices and delivered a burst of flavor. My 10-Minute Chicken Rub recipe makes about 1-½ cups; store it in an airtight container. You’ll need to use 2 tbsp. of the mix for a plump roasting chicken - more if you use this mixture for turkey. 
Nicole’s 10-Minute Chicken Rub:
2 tbsp. crushed, dried basil leaves
2 tbsp. dried oregano
2 tbsp. paprika
2 tbsp. granulated garlic
2 tbsp. granulated onion
4 tsp. salt
4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1-½ tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. cayenne
Combine all ingredients well. Store in airtight container. Use 2-to-3 tbsp. seasoning mix per roasting chicken. This rub takes just 10 minutes to make - hence, the name!

Note: I greatly prefer the texture of tapioca starch over cornstarch, but cornstarch works just as well, as long as you mix it with a little cold water before stirring it in. 

Pop half a fresh lemon into the cavity of the bird

Aye, there's the rub!

My 10-Minute Chicken Rub adds a golden hue


  1. I was very intrigued when I read about your posting a blog of your favorite recipes! Not being a cook, by any stroke of the imagination, I not only need good recipes but explicit instructions. Could you please tell me the total cooking time for the 10 minute Chicken rub bird? I got confused when you mentioned popping in over for an hour, baste midway through and then roast another hour. Does that mean the roasting time (basting at 1/2 hour point?) is 1.5 hours or 2 hours? Many thanks

  2. This was a fat roaster! I cooked it for a total of 2 hours. It emerged from the oven beautifully tender and juicy! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify the cooking time! I've done so in the recipe, too - Nicole


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