Holiday Roasted Smart Chicken

This is one of my favorite ways to roast a whole chicken during the holidays. The hint of cinnamon and allspice adds just enough flavor to give this bird a real punch. Smart Chickens are a great alternative to turkey or ham.

1 Whole Smart Chicken (4 to 5 pounds)

Approximately 12 fresh sage leaves

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 small to medium onion, quartered

1 Granny Smith apple, cut into 4 pieces

1 cup dry white wine, your choice

1 cup apple juice

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse the Smart Chicken inside and out and pat dry. Remove any excess fat around the cavity and neck. Carefully loosen the skin from the breast and place 4 sage leaves on each side of the breast between the skin and meat. Place 2 sage leaves under the skin where the breast meets the thigh, on each side.
  • Combine the salt, black pepper, cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and stir to mix. With a pastry brush, brush olive oil on Smart Chicken. Rub the Smart Chicken all over with the spice mixture to coat evenly. Stuff the Smart Chicken cavity with half the onion and half the apple. If you want you can tie the legs together using kitchen twine.
  • Place the Smart Chicken breast-side up in a shallow roasting or baking pan. Pour the wine and apple juice in the bottom of the roasting pan and add the remaining onion and apple to the bottom of the roasting pan. Place the pan on the center rack of the oven and roast for about 1 hour 30 minutes, basting every 20 minutes with the pan juices, until the Smart Chicken is golden brown and the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees F.
  • Transfer the roasted Smart Chicken to a cutting board, loosely cover with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving. Serve warm with the pan juices poured over the top.

Serves 4-6.