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Green Tabasco™ Chicken




From Bill Smith’s cookbook, Seasoned In The South. You’ll want to own this one. It’s full of recipes he developed at Crook’s Corner, in Chapel Hill, NC. Buy the cookbook on amazon or wherever books are sold. Visit Crook’s Corner website for a tantalizing glimpse of his other Southern specialties.

Chef Smith is well known for his creative Southern comfort food and for his remarkable food writing, including his newest offering, the best-selling Savor the South title, Crabs & Oysters. He stands out as the only James Beard Foundation “America’s Classic Restaurant” chef ever to have been named a final-five finalist for Best Chef in the Southeast – twice.

A foremost chef-expert in Southern foodways, he has served for years on the board for the Southern Foodways Alliance.


Serves 4-6.


1 whole chicken (about 3 lbs) well rinsed and patted dry
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon
1 jalapeño
1 clove garlic
1 bottle Green Tabasco™ Jalapeño Sauce or other green hot pepper sauce
Melted butter or bacon grease, for basting
1½ cups of dry white wine


Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Snip off the pope’s nose (tail) and last joint of each of the chicken’s wings. Salt and pepper the cavity and stuff it with the lemon, jalapeño, and garlic. Truss up the chicken with kitchen twine, and place it on a rack in a roasting pan. Baste the chicken with half of the bottle of the Tabasco™. Sprinkle salt and lots of black pepper on the wet Tabasco™. Place the chicken in the oven in the oven.

Put the trimmings plus the giblets of the chicken, minus the liver, in a 1-quart saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and let it cook while the chicken roasts. This will be the base for the sauce.

In about 20 minutes you should begin to hear the chicken sizzling. When you do, reduce the heat to 350 degrees, and baste the chicken with the butter or bacon grease. Repeat every 20 minutes. Cook until the legs can be wiggled easily. This should take between 1 and 1 1/4 hours. I prefer roasted chicken to be a little past done; it will be better cold the next day, if there is any left.

Let the chicken rest for 20 minutes on the counter. If it is then cool enough to handle, remove the string. Use poultry shears (if you cook chickens a lot, you really should buy these) to cut out the spine. Try to save all the juice that will be in the cavity. Put the juice, spine, jalapeño, and garlic into the saucepot and turn up the heat to a heavy boil, but discard the lemon, as it will make the sauce bitter.

Place the roasting pan on top of the stove and turn the heat up high. Pour in the wine and use a metal spatula to scrape up all of the browned bits and drippings. Add all this to the sauce. Let the sauce reduce until it begins to thicken. The time will vary according to the amount of liquid you begin with. Degrease. (Skim grease off of the top of the sauce.)

Cut the chicken into serving pieces and arrange on a platter. When the sauce has reduced until it is thick and lustrous, strain it through a sieve over the chicken. If there is more sauce than the platter can hold, bring the rest to the table in a sauce boat.

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