Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday's Real Food Recipe- Roast Chicken and Vegetables

The Poor Chicken has been Victimized

If the sanitizing/huge poultry companies have done anything for the American public, it has made us extremely grossed out by touching raw poultry.  We have become conditioned to buy overpriced, pre-packaged chicken breasts that we can dump directly onto the grill without touching so we don't get germs on our hands or our contertops.  While keeping your kitchen clean is of utmost importance, we are missing out on a great standard recipe with loads of value for our health and our dollar.  

Many people don't buy whole chickens, let alone local, pastured chickens because of the higher price point (and it's "yucky" to have to touch).  Not to mention, there are ready-to-eat brands like Tyson or Purdue!  People are made to believe that this chicken is less expensive, but the truth is that this meat is injected with a saline solution that increases it's weight.  haha- you thought you were buying 1 lb. of meat, but you really bought .6 lbs of meat and .4 lbs of salt water.  Not to mention, all of the hormones and antibiotics they throw in for "free."  The local, free range bird is worth EVERY penny, and saves your health and pocket book in the long run.

A roasted chicken is my go-to meal for hosting, comfort, and stretching my grocery dollars.  Yes, the chicken itself might be $4/pound, however, it is so delicious on day 1, and then turns into a healthful, amazing chicken soup on days 2-3, and even day 4!  Talk about stretching a dollar!  For $25, you can feed a family of 4 for 3-4 nights! 

*I always brine my chickens.  If you would like to try this technique, check out my blog "How to Brine a Turkey", and use the same idea here the day or two before you plan to roast your chicken.

Roasted chicken with Vegetables.

1 3-4 pound chicken
1 lemon
olive oil (or any good quality cooking oil you have on hand)
coarse sea salt
cracked pepper (or any other herbs you like, rosemary, thyme, sage, etc)
2 lbs. potatoes
1 lb. carrots
1 onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
you can add or replace any other root veggies you might like (parsnips, cabbage, celery, etc.)

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Quarter all of your veggies, and remove the cloves of garlic from their outer layer.  Drizzle Olive oil on the bottom of your roasting pan and add the quartered vegetables and garlic cloves around the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with salt.  Rinse chicken thoroughly and pat dry.  Place chicken breast side up on top of the vegetables.  Drizzle with olive oil and rub in coarse salt, pepper and other herbs on the outside and inside of the chicken.  cut lemon in half and place inside the chicken.  If you have twine you can tie the legs, but it isn't necessary. 

Place covered roasting pan in your preheated oven for about 45 minutes.  Up the temp to 400 F and remove lid for the remaining baking time in order to carmelize the veggies and brown the chicken.  I guage about 25 minutes per pound.  The chicken is done when the thigh is at an internal temp of 165 F degrees.

Let the bird rest for a good 10-15 minutes before carving so the juices can redistribute.  Serve the veggies and chicken with the pan juices, or make a gravy. 

Your house will smell.  Amazing.

I hope you love this yummy, real food recipe!