Aromatic Roast Chicken with Adobo
One whole chicken
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt, or more as needed
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon MSG, to taste
1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 cup no-salt chicken stock, white wine or water
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lime
Cooked white rice, for serving (optional)
Lime wedges, for serving (optional)
Place the chicken, breast side down, onto a cutting board. Using poultry shears and starting at the neck, make a lengthwise cut down one side of the backbone to the tail. Make a lengthwise cut down the other side of the backbone. Discard the backbone, or save it to make chicken stock. Trim and discard the fat just inside the body and neck cavities, or reserve for another use. Turn the chicken over and place it cut side down and, pressing firmly with your hands on the skin side, flatten the chicken. Pat the chicken dry, inside and out, with paper towels.
To make the adobo, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, pepper and MSG, if using.
Carefully slide your index finger under the skin of the chicken, loosening it from the flesh without tearing it. Using your hands, spread the adobo mixture under the skin and then all over chicken. Place the chicken on a platter and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 2 hours and preferably overnight, up to 24 hours.
About 1 hour before you plan to roast the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator. (Taking the chill off of the meat before roasting ensures more even cooking.)
When ready to roast, position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees.
In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, or other oven-safe pan, add the sliced onion, spreading it on the bottom. Place the chicken, breast side up, on top of the onions with the legs facing the rear of the oven. Roast for 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine the chicken stock, wine or water with the orange and lime juices.
Remove the chicken from the oven and pour the liquid into the skillet, avoiding direct contact with the chicken. Roast for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until the thickest part of the breast registers 155 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
Transfer the chicken to a carving board and let it rest for 5 minutes. Test the temperature again — it should read 165 degrees. Carve the chicken and plate, spooning pan juices on top. Serve with the rice and lime wedges on the side.