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Recipe: Maraschino Cherry Chicken

Well, aren't we just the cooking fools around here. Yes, yes we are.This recipe was inspired by the abysmal movie "Six Days, Seven Nights," which had absolutely nothing else going for it. Well, except a seriously hilarious Harrison Ford pratfall. Aaanyway, after being stranded on an island, Ford's character manages to thwack a peacock and get it roasting on a spit, basting occasionally with the juice from a jar of maraschino cherries. That scene caused uncontrollable drooling in this household, which virtually required we concoct our own recipe.

the "after"

Maraschino Cherry Chicken with Roasted Potatoes The ingredients: Whole chicken (though there's no reason it can't be done with parts) 3 jars maraschino cherries (you'll only need the juice from the 2nd and 3rd jars) 2 cups water The instructions: Put the bird breast side up in a large roasting pan. Pour the cherry juice from all three jars over the outside of the chicken, stuff the inside cavity with the cherries from just one jar. Pour the two cups of water into the roasting pan around the chicken (NOT OVER IT). This will keep the sugar in the juice from burning during cooking, and help make a pan sauce. Start oven at 500 degrees, cook for 30 minutes (this is to make a lurvely brown skin, which will also hold in juices). Knock the temperature back down to 350 degrees and cook until the internal temp is 180 degrees (a few hours-ish). The cherry juice, water and juices from the chicken will basically simmer in the bottom of the roasting pan while the bird cooks, making a pan sauce. You can do further reduction of the sauce on the stovetop if you like (though I wouldn't add anything extra...except maybe some butter, and/or a some cream if you like sauces like that), after taking out the chicken when it's done, but it was REALLY good like it was. Just siphon off the excess fat. Or don't. We typically have it with small red potatoes, sliced thin and pan fried in butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder and fresh rosemary. YMMV.