Chicken in a Watermelon Recipe

BBI Big Shoulders (Dan Berger) took it upon himself on June 24th, 2004 to prepare the Chicken in a Watermelon recipe found on the Buckaroo Banzai DVD.

"And the verdict is a very pleasant surprise! I can say up front that this doesn't taste remotely like chicken infused with essence of watermelon. That's probably the first reaction for many people as they read the recipe, but it just isn't the case.

The chicken mostly takes on the flavor of five-spice powder, but not overwhelmingly so. The taste is very mellow overall, and the chicken is so tender that it actually pulls apart at the middle as I try to remove it from the melon.

The sauce doesn't taste like watermelon juice either. There is a hint of sweet and spice, with the chicken and butter flavors in just the right proportions. It goes perfectly with the meat.

If a day comes when you have time to put Chicken in a Watermelon together for dinner, give it a try. It's pretty darn tasty. Bon Appetite!"

You can read more about his cooking experience at the Banzai Institute website (Scroll down the page a bit to 7/15/04) -

This recipe is an Easter Egg that you can find on the Buckaroo Banzai Sepcial Edition DVD if you select the BB logo on the second screen of the "Food from the Skies?" article. You will be taken to a video clip of W.D. Richter called "Why?" where he discusses watermelons and shows a recipe for Chicken in a Watermelon.

Chicken in a Watermelon

Total time : 5 hours

1 very large watermelon
1 roaster chicken, about 5 to 6 pounds
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 lemon
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
2 tablespoons chilled butter.

  1. Cut a 1/4-inch-thick horizontal slice off bottom of watermelon, so it won't roll. Discard. Cut off the top third of the melon horizontally, then scoop out seeds and enough of the pulp from both remain parts to make room for the chicken.
  2. Season cavity of chicken with salt and pepper. Insert lemon pricked with fork, along with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce. Brush outside of chicken with remaining soy sauce, and sprinkle with five-spice powder,
  3. Place chicken in the larger part of the melon, and position the other piece of melon on top, securing with long skewers.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and bake 2 hours. Then, reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake 2 1/2 hours longer.
  5. Place watermelon on a tray and show it to guests. Return it to kitchen: remove chicken and carve. With a ladle, remove juices from watermelon and reduce in skillet until thickened; whisk in cold butter and spoon over chicken before serving.

Yield: 8 servings.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 520 calories, 25 grams fat, 140 milligrams cholesterol, 1,185 milligrams sodium, 45 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrate.

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