Sometimes my BF and I like a little heat. Not scorch-your-tongue-off heat, but enough to have a little pop. Not sure why Halloween brings cravings for spicy food, perhaps I'm equating spicy-heat with devils and vampires.
This chicken is a one-pan meal with a side dish to boot, very simple to make, and packed with flavor. (Did you know you can stuff practically anything under the chicken skin for extra flavor? I've stuffed a mixture of spinach, mushroom, and Manchego cheese under the skin as well as several kinds of compound butters–truffle, garlic, lemon, herb–and it's out of this world.)
I found this jalapeño chicken recipe in the delightful cookbook Casa Marcela, by Marcela Valladolid. As she says, "For this one, you'd think there's so much heat from the raw jalapeño, but during the roasting it mellows out ... It also serves as a barrier between the flesh of the chicken and the direct heat in the oven, so the breast stays nice and moist."
I varied the peppers a bit because many jalapeños I find in local groceries are so mild they taste like green bell peppers. You can stick with just jalapeño (like Valladolid's recipe), or spice it up and use a mixture of serrano, fresno, jalapeño and/or even poblano. It's spicy, but not too spicy.
The chicken is roasted with baby potatoes so you have a side dish ready when the chicken is. In my house, we also serve this with black beans and/or rice for a South-of-the-Border-style meal. You can even shred the chicken for tostadas, enchiladas, or tortilla soup.
NOTE: Use latex gloves when handling chilies!
Adapted from: Casa Marcela, by Marcela Valladolid
Number of servings: makes 1 roast chicken
Top to bottom: jalapeño, fresno (red) and serrano peppers
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.