A roasted chicken.
I roast a chicken weekly here on the homestead. I wish it was one of our own that we had raised and butchered, but alas, it is not. Someday, I dream of a homestead where we can raise and butcher our own chickens. For now, I have found Rosie's Chickens which I love. They cost anywhere from $7-$10 and are worth every penny.
I've found in my chicken-roasting adventures that the free range chickens tend to emit much less water when cooked. I don't mind paying more for a naturally raised chicken, as I would rather be paying for a larger chicken than a bunch of water weight. We've also found that naturally raised chickens tend to taste…more chicken-ey. Dare I say, more barnyard-esck. But in the very best way possible.
I'm going to show you how I roast a chicken, because I appreciated it when someone showed me how. Not only does roasting a whole chicken make sense monetarily, but it also is nice to know all the ingredients being used to season your meat.
We usually eat smaller portions of meat and can make one $7-$10 chicken last us for three meals, plus chicken stock. I like to think of chicken as a “main” for one meal (ie: chicken and potatoes) and an “accesory” for two meals (ie: cabbage salad with chicken or stirfry rice with chicken).
Enough babble. Let's roast this bad boy. This is one of those recipes that doesn't even really classify as a “recipe” because it's so easy. Truly.
Step One: Take your gizzards out of the inside of the chicken and place in a tupperware. You will want to keep these for when you make chicken stock. They are full of nutrients. I just keep mine in the fridge until we finish eating the chicken, at which point I throw the gizzards, chicken carcass, and any leftover veggies into a pot for stock. I thought an imagine of some gizzards would really gear you up for today, so here you are:
Step Two: Rub the chicken all over with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Step Three: Season generously with the herbs and seasonings of your choice. This time, I used salt, thyme, basil, parsley, and oregano. My other favorites include rosemary, smoked paprika, lemon pepper, garlic salt, etc. Use the herbs you like. Give it a good sprinklin'.
Step Four: Repeat the seasoning sprinklin' on the other side of the chicken as well. Be sure you get the sides, wings, and drumsticks too.
Step Five: Place the chicken breast side up in a pan. I use whatever pan I have handy. I have used a rack to lift the chicken out of the run-off juices as it cooks, but frankly, I didn't like having to clean it. You only loose a little bit of crispy skin by placing it in a pan and it's much easier to clean. Call my lazy, if you will.
Step Six: Roast in a 375 degree oven for roughly 2.5 – 3 hours or until the skin is nice and crispy brown and the run-off juices are clear.
Step Seven: Let the chicken cool slightly and then fight your husband for a wing and a drumstick. If your brother-in-law is there too, forget about it. You're never going to get a wing. Those boys will snatch them off the chicken before you even have a chance.
In the name of properly portioned, healthy, animal fats, I invite you break out of the boneless, skinless, tasteless chicken breast routine. There are waaaaay better pieces on the chicken, dang it. No need to pay extra for those breasts when you can roast a whole chicken for half the price! If we eat meat in a modest amount, there is no need to fear the fat of the skin. Remember my rule, people? Fear the fake, not the fat. And by making chicken stock from all the bones and leftover bits of the chicken, we are really getting every pennies worth out of this bad-boy.
Roasting a chicken (or two for your larger family!) once a week is an easy way to have cooked chicken ready for your dinners the rest of the week. Super easy to throw in salads, sandwiches, and scrambles. I like super easy. It's my friend.
Because I'm lazy.
Actually, I prefer the term “minimalist”.
Yeah, that's it. I'm a minimalist.
Who is lazy.
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.