Monday, July 9, 2012

Garlic Butter Roasted Chicken

When I was researching different diets (such as GAPs or Nourishing Traditions) where the goal is to nourish and heal, a common thread among them was chicken broth. Other broths were mentioned too, such as beef, with all of them being derived from organic sources. I had been researching this for the sake of bringing my mom the best nutrients as she fights cancer, and as I was researching, a memory of my friend Amanda came to mind.

A few years ago Amanda had been telling me all about the nutritional value of broth, especially  homemade. She explained to me the process of using a whole chicken, and what you add to beef up the nutrients. Once you've created the broth you store individual portions in your freezer so that you always have your source of "liquid gold" as she called it.

Back then, I believed her but I didn't want to go through all of that trouble. Plus to be honest I was pretty squeamish when it came to handling meat especially the remains; including bones and whatever else you had to pull out of a whole chicken when you brought it home from the store. Let me say that I have come a long way from my previously "squeamish" self. I think what helped me conquer the fear was learning how to cook, and how nourishing proper meat can be. (Yes, it is more money to buy organic and free range, but I support the farms who have good practices. This helps the animal and it helps the nutritional value immensely.)

Once I started to really believe in the healing properties of broth (check this out in correlation to healing your digestive tract), I started learning how to roast a whole chicken so that I could have the remaining bits for making the homemade stock. This is a recent recipe I've used twice now, and I love how the flavor really soaks into the meat, and how the skin is nice and crispy. The ingredients are super simple, but  there is a lot of inactive wait time so that the marinade can really do its thing. While its roasting, you baste the chicken throughout the process, so just be around to do that once in awhile. It is totally worth it. The outcome is perfect crisp skin with moist chicken meat. If you desire to roast some vegetables for the meal, I would recommend using a separate tray because the marinade is quite buttery.

Garlic Butter Roasted Chicken
Inactive Time: 2 hr marinate Active Time: 1 1/2 hr cook, with active basting
Adapted from Simply Chicken by Susan Meadows
1/3 cup butter, softened (not melted)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp each, salt, pepper
1 whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 lemon

How To:
1) Mix together butter, garlic, salt, and pepper. Place chicken, breast side up, in a large bowl or deep dish. Using a spoon or spatula work the butter mixture on to the skin of the chicken and underneath the skin without puncturing it and leaving it intact on the sides. Massage the butter under the skin on to the entire chicken breast until well coated.

2) Place half a lemon into the cavity of the chicken. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or lid and let it marinate for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

3) Preheat oven to 450º F. Place the chicken into a dutch oven or on a roasting tray. Do not cover.

4) After 15 minutes, baste the chicken with the butter at the bottom of the pan. If you don't have a baster, you can use a serving spoon. Occasionally baste the chicken about every 10 - 15 minutes. Be cautious throughout this process, and use an apron if you want to protect your clothes from grease stains.

5) Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours. The skin will be darkened and crispy. Let it rest for 10 minutes at room temperature, before slicing, so that your meat will retain as much moisture as possible.

My serving suggestion: Serve with roasted vegetables, prepared on a separate tray; and with rice pilaf. Would also be delicious with a glass of red wine.


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