Chicken in a Watermelon

6,100

62

38

About: Synth chick for electro-rock band, Former Human Beings

At first glance, you may think this is an early Halloween Instructable for a creepy recipe. Please don't look away! It's not as hideous as it may seem! It's actually a fantastic recipe in a not-so-traditional form that results in an uber tender chicken meal. The original recipe was posted in the New York Times as an April Fool's joke, but I made some of my own adjustments, and it was one of the most spectacularly juicy chickens I'd ever had. No, you can't taste the watermelon, and yes, it is so worth the time to do this. Summertime makes watermelons abundant and cheap, so please give this a try. It's an awesome summer party showstopper. I've added one of my own savoury watermelon salad recipe to the bottom as you will have an overabundance of watermelon "meat" from doing this. :)

Supplies:

Ingredients

  • 1 large watermelon (about 15 pounds)
  • 1 roaster chicken, (about 5 pounds)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 whole lemon, poked with fork several times
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cold butter

Tools

  • sharp knife
  • ice cream scooper or large spoon
  • 6 wooden skewers
  • large baking dish
  • saucepan

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

When choosing your watermelon, make sure it's going to be big enough to hold your chicken once it's emptied out. You might want to purchase these at the same time so you can guesstimate the size. My 5lb bird worked perfectly in my 15lb watermelon. Also, because I wanted this to be a cool presentation of turning a watermelon into a slow-cooker pot, I chose one that was aesthetically cute!

You can peel all the skin off your chicken if you'd like to cut down on the fat, but I love its flavours in the gravy that's made at the end. Plus, I feel like it aids to its tenderness. I don't know. I'm not a chef, I just love to eat.

The original recipe for this used Chinese five-spice powder and soy sauce. I gave that a pass and tried a mix of curry, turmeric, chili and garlic. You can go with any spices or rubs you prefer.

Step 2: Turn Your Watermelon Into a Pot

Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut a tiny horizontal slice off bottom of watermelon so it won't roll away. How sad would that be?! Cut off the top third of the watermelon horizontally. This will be your lid to your pot.

Use a pairing knife to make a guide around the perimeter of the watermelon lid and base. Scoop out the watermelon from the lid, then score the inside of the melon to take out big chunks.

After you take out big chunks, finish hollowing out the base by scooping out the rest.

Step 3: Rub Your Chicken

To make the spice rub, in a bowl, mix together the curry powder, turmeric, garlic powder, chili powder, and brown sugar. Stir in some salt and pepper.

Season the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Place the fork-pricked lemon inside chicken.

Lift up the skin of the chicken and rub in some of the spice mix all over.

Step 4: Lock the Chicken in the Watermelon

Rub the rest of the spice mix all over the outside of the chicken, the place the chicken into the base of the hollowed watermelon.

Top with some more salt and pepper.

Put the lid of the watermelon on top, then use skewers to lock it into place. If you skip doing this, the lid will come off as it shrinks in the oven and that's rubbish! Please don't skip!

Step 5: Bake at Two Temperatures

Place chicken on a large baking pan. It will eventually accumulate quite a bit of juice, so you might want to line it with foil to help keep things clean. I didn't. I love elbow grease. Bake in 400 F oven for 2 hours.

Lower heat to 300 F and cook for 2 1/2 hours longer. Occasionally check on it to make sure your baking pan isn't overflowing.

Carefully remove melon from oven, then remove the skewers.

Step 6: Make the Gravy

Remove the lid and tip out all the juices from the melon and the baking pan into a saucepan.

Bring juices to a boil over high heat, then lower and simmer until it reduces a bit.

Whisk in 2 tablespoons of cold butter, then pour into a serving bowl or gravy boat.

Step 7: Serve It Up

Before you tear the chicken up, you'll want to gather everyone around and do a, "Look what I can do," and an air kick. If no one's around, take a selfie next to the big melony chickeny mass and send it around. Anyway! Just tugging at the chicken will cause it to fall apart in pieces because it's so tender.

Spoon gravy over chicken and enjoy!

Step 8: What to Do With All That Watermelon You Cut Out

This is one of my favourite savoury salads I make out of watermelon. Give it a try with some of that excess watermelon you've got now!

Spicy Cashew Watermelon Salad

Ingredients:

  • fruit of half a large watermelon, cubed
  • 1/2 a bunch of fresh mint, torn
  • 3 tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 1/2 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced (1/2 if you want it milder)
  • 1/2 tsp black sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 small lime
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 inch block of fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic

In a bowl, mix together the watermelon, mint, tomatoes, avocado, cashews, jalapeno, and sesame seeds.

In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, lime juice, and vinegar. Grate in the ginger and garlic. Drizzle over salad and mix well.

1 Person Made This Project!

Recommendations

  • Kitchen Skills Challenge

    Kitchen Skills Challenge
  • Teacher Contest

    Teacher Contest
  • Halloween Contest 2019

    Halloween Contest 2019

38 Discussions

0
None
attosa21papasmurf

Answer 5 weeks ago

Hi there! I'm not super familiar with those. Are they small outdoor grills? I'd say you could try bbqing them as long as it had enough space for the thing (it is going to be as big as a watermelon) and you can keep the temperature at a constant as directed above. You can try, and just keep checking the internal temp of the chicken, especially after the 3 hour mark :)

0
None
21papasmurfattosa

Reply 5 weeks ago

As they sayhere (Australia) I'll give it a bash. watermelons at the right time of year are sometimes as low as 50cents each. The Weber BBQ I have is the BabyQ. It is gas and I can put the rotisseiere fitting in without the rotissiere rod to be able to accommodate a water melon

0
None
attosa21papasmurf

Reply 5 weeks ago

Excellent! If you give it a bash, do share your results here! I'd love to know how it worked without the oven! :)

0
None
nirim

6 weeks ago

I Don’t care if it is tasty or not. But thumb up for
the originality innovation. That the only way to go forward.

2 replies
0
None
attosanirim

Reply 6 weeks ago

This has definitely got my gears going for some more new things. It's so fun to experiment, eh? Thank you so much (and I promise it is tasty)! :)

0
None
nirimattosa

Reply 6 weeks ago

I take your word for that and give it a go. Though with the watermelon in the
UK I can only do a partridge.

0
None
Penolopy Bulnick

6 weeks ago

This sounds really odd, but also sounds like it would make delicious chicken!

1 reply
0
None
attosaPenolopy Bulnick

Reply 6 weeks ago

It does! There is that fear beforehand that your chicken will end up tasting like a watermelon Jolly Rancher... but when you taste it, wow wow wow :) It's fab in texture and flavour!

0
None
Momos75

6 weeks ago

Looks absolutely delicious, I’ll definitely try it!

2 replies
0
None
attosaMomos75

Reply 6 weeks ago

Yay!! You are fab in the kitchen so I'd love to hear your reviews!

0
None
Momos75attosa

Reply 6 weeks ago

All I do is setting my imagination free. I’ll let you know how it went. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

0
None
weish

6 weeks ago

i first saw a watermelon chicken recipe in the easter eggs of the dvd of "buckaroo banzai's adventures across the 8th dimension" and have always wondered what it's like.

1 reply
0
None
attosaweish

Reply 6 weeks ago

I had to Google that and I came upon an interview from the makers regarding that easter egg! The guy said it sounded awful... if he could only just try it! It's freakin' amazing :) I hope you try it too!

0
None
Norm1958

6 weeks ago

This looks and sounds glorious. The best idea for me [besides using the watermelon] is stuffing the chicken with a lemon. I instantly envisioned chicken stuffed with lemon or orange, buried in garlic and onions and butter in a slow cooker. You've started a ball rolling girl.

1 reply
0
None
attosaNorm1958

Reply 6 weeks ago

Well, Norm. It is early morning for me and you're making me so darn hungry! Bravo ;)

0
None
nekoaitsu

6 weeks ago

Your writing and content are wonderful. Thank you for sharing, I'm definitely intrigued by both recipes!

1 reply
0
None
attosanekoaitsu

Reply 6 weeks ago

Wow, thank you! I'm so happy you're here and I hope you make both of them! :)

0
None
Henmarsh

6 weeks ago

With the piddly little watermelons we get in my part of the UK I'm going to have to use a *very* small chicken or perhaps a pigeon (game season here is over). However the more I think about the more inspired the idea seems! Here, hold my (warm) beer...

1 reply
0
None
attosaHenmarsh

Reply 6 weeks ago

Ooo maybe a Cornish hen? We've been chatting about trying it with a big pumpkin, although it would not be as juicy. See what you can come up with. I'll hold your warm beer :)