Combine ‘Nduja, the Spreadable Spicy Salami-Type Sausage, with Butter and You’ve Got the Perfect Seasoning for a Roast Chicken.
As I’ve previously mentioned, I make a roasted chicken frequently. It will forever be one of my favorite meals. The ease, along with the end result puts it at the top of my list for a perfect meal. This time around I was inspired by a recipe in Ixta Belfrage’s Mezcla cookbook .* She uses a little ‘nduja ,* amongst other ingredients, in a recipe for chicken thighs and pineapple.
I happened to have a humongous chicken – 6.5 pounds, but the recipe will work perfectly fine with any sized chicken. For a smaller chicken, I normally roast it for about 45 minutes at 425°, but seeing as this one was so large, I knew it would burn by the time it was done, so I reduced the heat after 20 minutes and let it cook until an instant read thermometer registered 165° when stuck into the thickest part of the thigh. As you can see in the photo, it didn’t burn at all.
If you’ve never eaten ‘nduja, let me explain. It is a soft spreadable spicy pork sausage that originated in the Calabria region of Italy. I love this stuff and have been happy in the past when I’ve simply combined it with butter. It’s so full of flavor I don’t think it needs anything else added to it. I rubbed it under the skin and over the top of my buttermilk brined chicken right before I put it in the oven. Knowing I was going to want to use the drippings for a sauce, I had reduced the amount of salt in the buttermilk brine.
After the chicken came out of the oven, and while it was resting, I broiled a tray of fresh thick pineapple slices onto which I had spread the remaining ‘nduja butter. As soon as it came out from under the broiler I squeezed the juice from half a lime over the top.
After skimming most of the grease from the drippings of the chicken, I heated them up, added the juice from the remaining lime half and poured in a tablespoon of heavy cream.
The chicken was so juicy and full flavored, only a small spoonful of the sauce was needed for each serving. And that pineapple? Sensational. All that porky flavor from the ‘nduja was a perfect complement to the both the sweet pineapple and the chicken. So little effort for such a great meal.