So you have guests, and you want to impress them with your mad cooking skills, but you don’t want to go out hunting for fancy, exotic ingredients. Few dishes seem to impress people more than a meat roast, it looks like the kind of thing one ought to eat at a restaurant, but fear not, I’ve got you covered.
In the almost 10 years that I’ve been keeping this website I’ve received hundreds, if not thousands, of emails requesting recipes that we didn’t have (and many we did have). I love getting these requests for new recipes – they are like meandering paths to exploring the richness of our cuisine, and I’ve discovered many new dishes this way.
But sometimes I get the strangest requests, not least the ones for dishes that no Dominican ever prepares at home (hello? nobody makes telera, our Christmas bread, that’s what we have supermarkets, colmados and roadside vendors for). This is one of those dishes.
This is actually the flagship dish of a popular chain of restaurants in the Dominican Republic, think of the Colonel, but with a tropical flair. Their recipe is not common knowledge, but I can make an educated guess as to its ingredients and preparation.
The chicken at the restaurants is prepared over coal fire, but in this recipe we’ll give you with an option that can be prepared using a regular oven. The wasakaka is a thin sauce used to moisten the chicken.
- 1 large whole chicken (or 2 doz. drumsticks)
- ½ bitter orange (or 1 lime)
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- ¼ cup of cooking oil
- ½ cup of bitter orange or lime juice
- ¼ cup of olive oil
- 2 sprigs of curly parsley, chopped (approx. 3 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
- 1 cup of water
- ½ teaspoon of salt, or more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper, or more to taste
- Pre-heat the oven at 300°F (150°C).
- Scrub chicken with bitter orange or lime inside and out, then season with salt, pepper and oregano inside and out.
- Brush with oil to keep the skin from drying too much.
- Cover the tip of the wings and thighs with foil to prevent them from burning.
- Use cooking twine to tie the thighs together, do the same with the wings to keep them flat against the breasts.
- Roast at 300°F [150°C] for 45 minutes.
- Remove the foil and turn up heat to 450°F [230°C] the last fifteen minutes.
- Chicken should be golden brown and skin should be crispy. I suggest you use a thermometer to check for doneness, or pinch on the inside of the thigh, the juices should run clear (no hint of blood).
- Roast at 300°F [150°C] for 25 minutes, or until skin is crispy and golden brown.
- Mix with the bitter orange juice (or lime), olive oil, parsley, garlic and water.
- Bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let it rest until it cools to room temperature.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve sauce alongside the chicken.
The sauce is best served at room temperature.
Needless to say that this is definitely not the exact sauce as the one from the above-mentioned restaurant, it's a decent approximation at best, and a darn-tasty adaptation at worst. I leave it to you to decide.
This dish is usually served with some boiled yuca, or some tostones, but I found that my guests had no complaints about my choice to go with some tasty oven-fried potatoes with spices (they are not really fried). Some fresh salad finishes this nicely.
You need to use a roasting tray with rack, or else the bottom of the chicken will just boil in its own juices.