Roasted Chicken with Orange Ginger Buttah (aka Aarti's I Ain't Chicken Chicken)

Roasted Chicken with Orange Ginger Buttah

Compound butters are so remarkably simple to make, you almost want to tap yourself on the head and say, "Why didn't I think of that?" Of course, you can make your own butter first, then add the other ingredients, but regular store-bought butter which you've allowed to sit out and soften works just as well. Basically, you add whatever herbs and seasonings you'd like to the softened butter and mix well (Basil Lime Buttah, anyone? Excellent over grilled corn on the cob!).

In this case, Aarti Sequeira..you know her, she's that excellent new chef they have over there at the Food Network..well, Aarti takes an ordinary piece of chicken and elevates it to another level with her I Ain't Chicken Chicken recipe. Fresh orange zest and freshly grated ginger, along with flowery cardamom spice infuse this extremely moist chicken with its flavor.

orange, ginger root, cardamom spice
orange, ginger and cardamom compound butter
Serves 4

Grill or Oven 500 degrees F (Aarti's recipe calls for roasting in the oven, however I prepared using an outdoor grill and I lined my baking sheet with foil. Expect splatter and smoking.)

4 Tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
zest of 1 large orange
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
4 chicken breasts, skin on (Aarti's recipe calls for bone in and skin on)

To make compound butter - in small bowl place butter, cardamom, orange zest, and grated ginger and mix well. Then add salt and pepper to taste. (Next time I make this I will also add freshly minced garlic.) Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack on top of that. Generously salt and pepper chicken breasts on both sides. On the skin side make a pocket between the skin and the flesh. Place butter in pocket, close and massage to distribute butter evenly under skin. Place chicken skin side up on rack fitted inside baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

Place pan on grill, close lid and cook for approximately 18-25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, or juices run clear. Remove from grill and allow to rest a few minutes before serving.

ready to go on grill
coming off grill
lining your baking sheet with foil will make for much easier clean-up

Note: Butter will drip down and when it makes contact with your very hot pan, there will inevitably be splatter and smoke. If I were going to make this in my oven next time, I would use a roasting pan fitted with a rack and still line the roasting pan with foil for easier clean-up. The deeper roasting pan should help prevent over-splatter.