How ‘Bout Them Apples? A Sweet New Way to Roast a Chicken

09/25/2013 at 11:14 AM ET

roast chicken with fruit
Roger Stowell

Maxwell Ryan is the founder of Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn, a daily web magazine all about home cooking and kitchen design. Visit PEOPLE.com every Wednesday for his spins on celebrity recipes, tips for cooking in a small space and much more.

Whether you’re hosting a small dinner party or cooking for the whole extended family, a roast chicken is one of the easiest dishes to make.

That said, while many people learned to cook their chicken with onions and vegetables in a roasting pan, I like to surprise guests by adding something sweet—and it always gets compliments.

My secret: diced pears, apples and raisins. As the chicken cooks down, so does the fruit, creating an absolutely delicious sweet side dish that can be served alongside your vegetables. Here’s how to do it in your kitchen:

1. Place your chicken in a roasting pan on top of a bed of thickly sliced onion discs (one large onion should be enough). This will lift the chicken off of the bottom of the roasting pan and allow it to cook more evenly.

2. Roll a lemon in your hand to soften it, then puncture it and stuff it inside the chicken. Tie the legs closed afterwards with butcher’s twine (available in most grocery stores).

3. Dice one pear and one apple. Spread the fruit around the base of the chicken.

4. Pour 1 cup of raisins on top of the pear and apple.

5. Cover chicken and fruit generously with olive oil and dust with salt. This will keep everything moist, and the salt will bring out the sweet taste of the fruit.  Re-coat with oil halfway through roasting.

I love this trick with chicken—even my friends who don’t eat red meat never say no to a roast bird—but it works with other meats, too. Any cut with a lot of fat in it lends itself very, very well to a sweet and savory treatment. Now, go impress those dinner guests!

FILED UNDER: Chicken , Food Blog

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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Showing 4 comments

Lois on

Sounds great, but ft the picture shows what appears to be rosemary but it is not mentioned in the receipe. I’m sure that makes a difference I the flavor.

Stephanie Winfrey on

I am more than excited to make this dish today. I think I will throw in the rosemary that is pictured for cooking and garnish that’s not listed in the recipe.

maryann on

sounds great but you did not stated over tempreture & cooking time so I can try this receipe

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