Roast Mahogany Chicken

There’s something about roasting a whole chicken that just makes me feel chef-y.  Granted, roast chicken is a very simple thing to make (but like all simple things, not easy to master) but there’s something about working with a whole bird and then the ceremony of carving that is just satisfying.

Tonight for dinner, I decided to do a twist on my usual roast chicken (which I will have to post a recipe for soon!  I have a secret method that practically guarantees moist meat and crispy skin.) Unfortunately, I couldn’t use that method with this recipe because you have to glaze the chicken and the method I usually use has a strict rule of NOT OPENING THE OVEN for the last 30 or so minutes.

I came across a recipe for something called Mahogany chicken and it sounded interesting so I decided to play around with it.  Here’s my version


  • 1 whole chicken, giblets removed.
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and fresh pepper
  • Rosemary
  • Equal parts brown sugar and balsamic vinegar (I used about 2 tablespoons of each)
  • 1 tablespoon of dry sherry or mirin (use Mirin if you have it!)
  • a few dashes of soy sauce
  • A pinch or 2 of ground ginger
  • a shake or 2 of garlic powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 and place an oven-safe skillet large enough to hold the chicken into the oven while it heats
  2. Rinse the chicken with cool water and dry it with paper towels.  Don’t skip the drying part–this helps get crispy skin! 
  3. Rub in a good amount of olive oil and give the chicken a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Work some oil under the skin as well to help get the skin crispy.  Stuff a rosemary stem into the cavity
  4. Tie the legs together–this is another step not to skip.  By tying the legs, you expose more of the skin to the dry oven air (chicken is all about the crispy skin, if you can’t tell by how many times I’ve mentioned that already)
  5. When the oven has preheated, remove the skillet and place the chicken in it–breast side up–and carefully tuck the wings under. Put the chicken in and set the timer for 25-30 minutes
  6. Meanwhile, mix together all the remaining ingredients in a small bowl and stir until the sugar dissolves
  7. After 25 minutes, baste the chicken with some of the sauce.  Repeat the basting about 3 more times and remove the chicken when a thermometer registers 175 in the thigh.
  8. Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes (up to 20 would be even better–give the juices time to redistribute into the meat) and cook the broccolini with preserved lemon sauce in the meantime. (recipe coming soon.  I tried to create a version last night and didn’t like it much.  Once I get the recipe right, I’ll share!

FInished Chicken


Tags: ,

Categories: Poultry, Recipes


A former English teacher living in Stuttgart, Germany who finds some sanity and peace through cooking.


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