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Ring,Ring! (Recipe: Chicken Roasted with Apple, Sage and Onion)

January 14, 2013
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If somebody from FoodBlogSouth offered you a chance to participate in a new twist on the old game “Telephone”, you’d probably say. “Yes”.  That’s especially true if you’re a Food Blogger from the South. Well, it got my attention.

Telephone, also called  Gossip,   was played by sitting around in a circle, Indian style. One person would whisper something in the ear of the person next to them.  That person tells the next person and so on.  The last person will then say, out loud, what message they received.  The originator of the message would reveal the first message and everyone would get a good laugh to see how much it had changed.  Simple, clean fun.

The new twist on this old childhood game is:

  1. We’re all grown up now…..supposedly.
  2. We’re going to play with our food. Okay, that’s not entirely new.
  3. We’re communicating in cyberspace instead of whispering into one’s ear.  Sort of.  I hope no one’s watching as I whisper to my computer screen.  I used to love playing this game as a child.  I’m not ready to give up the “whispering in the ear” part.
  4. Cameras, photographs, blogs and internet service providers are involved.  If this part isn’t a new twist for you, please keep it to yourself.  This is a G-rated operation here.

The game got started on November 21 and will continue through the end of February. I sincerely hope the Guinness Book of World record folks are eavesdropping because this is certainly some kind of record for playing “Telephone”.

Taking the  original recipe from Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking  by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart,  it was up to Sheri Castle at to slightly adapt the recipe and pass it off to t0 Life in Recipes who punted it over to Nancie McDermott who tossed it along to Oh, The Humidity who sent it packing to Cooking With Erin who bounced it over to The White Dish.  Action verbs….love them!

Tammie, at The White Dish ,whispered in my ear  her version of the recipe which she calls  Drunken Pineapple Jerk Chicken.  This chicken’s got some ‘splanin’ to do! It started out with Nathalie as a lovely roasted chicken with crispy skin and succulent meat and turned into a drunken jerk for Tammie.  Never trust poultry farther than you can throw it.

All kidding aside, Tammie’s recipe is quite lovely and combines the flavor of jerk seasoning with pineapple making it reminiscent of a glorious meal you might have on a Caribbean island.

My chicken is rather stoic and doesn’t imbibe at all.  However, he’s loaded with flavor from apple, sage and onion.  The flavor is outstanding and the cooking aroma is intoxicating.  Wait a minute.  Was there alcohol involved after all?

Y’all come see us!

Roast Chicken with potatoes served rustic style ~ Syrup and Biscuits

Roast chicken and potatoes served rustic style

Roasted Chicken with Apple, Sage and Onion

Choose a young chicken that’s between 3 and 4 pounds.  Larger chickens are a bit tougher and require a longer,  slower cooking time.  Season the chicken several hours before cooking, if possible, and store in refrigerator until ready for use.  Remove and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking.

Stuffing the cavity with fruits, vegetables and herbs will help render flavorful meat.  Cook breast side down for a period of time in order for the juices from the apples, sage and onion to baste the breast imparting flavor and moisture.  Turning the bird over during the last 15 minutes gives the breast a chance to brown and crisp.  This last step isn’t necessary.  I’ve cooked lots of birds, from start to finish,  breast side down.  However, you will be  deprived of crispy skin covering the breast.

Trussing the bird after stuffing the cavity is optional.  I don’t bother doing that.  If the stuff in the cavity falls out into the pan, that’s no problem.

Placing the produce in the bottom of the roasting pan serves as a rack and an additional rack isn’t needed.  Be sure to sprinkle olive oil generously over the produce before placing the bird on it to ensure the bird doesn’t stick.

roast chicken on a bed

The chicken is on its bed ready for the oven

For seasoning, I make a blend of 4 parts kosher salt to one part ground black pepper to one part garlic powder (not  garlic salt).  This is an all-purpose blend that I keep on my work space and use it for seasoning the entire world.

1 (3 to 4 pound) young chicken, whole

olive oil

4-1-1 seasoning


2 Granny Smith apples

2 sweet onions

4 to 5 sprigs fresh sage

3 pounds small red potatoes, washed

Prepare chicken by washing and patting dry.  Rub with olive oil and sprinkle 4-1-1 seasoning all over.  Don’t forget the cavity.

Cut one apple into 8 wedges and remove the core. Place in the bottom of a roasting pan.  Peel one onion and cut into 8 wedges and place in roasting pan with apples.  Spread 2 to 3 sage sprigs on top of apples and onions.

Take remaining apple and cut into fourths. Remove core.  Peel onion and cut into fourths.  Stuff as much as you can into the cavity of the bird which will probably be about half the apple and half the onion.  Put a sprig or two of the sage into the cavity.  Any apple, sage or onion that doesn’t fit in the cavity can go in the bottom of the roasting pan. Place chicken on top of apples, onions and sage.

Toss potatoes with olive and seasoning.  Place in roasting pan around the bird.

Roast at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Remove from oven and increase temp to 450 degrees.  Turn bird over so breast is facing up.  Sprinkle on some additional olive oil and 4-1-1 seasoning. Cook until internal temperature  of the thickest part of the thigh is 165 degrees.  If the bird starts to brown too much before it’s done, cover with aluminum foil.

Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before carving.

Test to make sure potatoes are fork tender.  If not, continue cooking while chicken rests.

Now I get to whisper in the lovely ear of Amiee from Menus and Meals for Moms!


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13 Comments leave one →
  1. Danny Taylor permalink
    January 15, 2013 8:33 am

    I’ll have to say I’ve never had the apple chicken whispered into my ear before but this does look very inviting. Looks like I’m gonna have to listen to my ear and give this one a try…thanks cuz!!!

  2. January 15, 2013 11:45 am

    Hey, Jackie! This looks de-lish. Exactly what the doctor ordered on these cold nights we’ve been having! I was a few bloggers back on this game–I really hope they do it again. What a great opportunity to see what other Southern bloggers are doing 🙂 Will you be at the FoodBlogSouth conference?

    • January 15, 2013 11:49 am

      Hey Michal! This was so much fun! I can’t wait to see the final product. I remember you post very well and found it most delightful and entertaining. Your recipe is awesome sauce!

      I will not be able to attend the forum this year, unfortunately. How about you?

      • January 17, 2013 4:01 pm

        Yep, I’m going and I’m totally nervous and excited. Thanks for the kind words! Maybe we’ll meet in person at the 2014 conference 😉

        • January 17, 2013 5:03 pm


          I’ll be following along on Twitter. If you are so inclined, I’d love to hear from you to know how they use the “telephone” exercise. My email is

          Have fun! Remember to be nice . 🙂

  3. January 15, 2013 8:26 pm

    I love apple and sage, so I’ll definitely have to give this combination a go. Looks wonderful, and like you and Michal, I’m loving seeing all of the different variations on this theme. So much fun!

  4. January 15, 2013 9:01 pm

    Hey! This sounds very tasty! I need to experiment more with sage! Good post, love it!

    • January 15, 2013 10:38 pm

      I use a good bit of fresh sage because I love it AND I usually have it growing in my kitchen garden. It’s just as comfortable with pork as it is with chicken. 🙂

  5. January 22, 2013 8:24 am

    Looks delicious! I love apples and sage together! Cant wait to give this a try:)

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