Are you almost ready to recline on pillows and enjoy the recounting of the Jewish escape from the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt (Mitzrayim)? When we were children we reclined and we carried our load, a bogo or embroidered envelope like bag with an extension like a saddle bag designed to fit some Matzo in it. My mother pinned it on us with a super large safety pin. The bag was passed from guest to guest, with all taking turns carrying the burden during the Seder. As the Jewish people grabbed possessions and fled in a hurry to freedom, so the matzo in the bag represented the burden carried into the desert.
Currently with my own family, I think it is fun and important to incorporate thematic elements from the story of Pesach into your table settings and meal. Celebrate the escape from bondage and the freedom. With that in mind I decided to make this chicken with blood oranges (think, ten plagues) and date molasses or syrup (think, the sweetness of freedom and liberty).
1/ 2 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
1/ 4 cup date syrup or date molasses
2 minced garlic cloves
1 whole 3 and 1/ 2 pound chicken
Mix orange juice, date syrup and garlic together in a small bowl or pitcher. Check the inside of chicken for any little bags with liver or gizzards or necks. Remove these items if you find them. Pluck any feathers left behind by your butcher. Place chicken in a zip lock bag and pour marinade into bag. Let chicken marinate for about 4 hours in refrigerator, turning about every 2 hours.
Heat oven to 400°F. Remove chicken from bag and place in a small roasting pan. Discard bag juices. Place roasting pan in preheated oven with chicken uncovered. Roast until chicken looks dark golden, crisp, with juices running clean, no blood or pink running out of chicken cavity. Chicken takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let chicken rest for at least 20 minutes before cutting and serving. This recipe is easy to multiply and tastes great the next day served cold for lunch.