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Whole Roasted Chicken

14 March

Whole Roast Chicken Text

A flea market find that’s easily rehabbed into an amazing piece of furniture is the new holy grail.  There’s something about re-making an old and worn and overlooked thing that gets us excited, as evidenced in the crazy popularity of HGTV, remodeling magazines and home decor blogs.

What if you could approach your gut like a banged-up, yard sale dresser?

This week in our Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Body Video Series we’re discussing the second R: Repair.  And why can’t repairing your gut be as exciting as a home furniture project?  You get to immerse yourself in nourishing, possibly new foods, use a little elbow grease on your old habits, and see amazing results in the way of more energy, normalized poop, better sleep, less achiness, and a healthier weight.

Repair is just what it sounds like, carefully rehabbing your gut lining so it is less inflamed, causes less digestive symptoms and absorbs more nutrients.  You can do this with some supplements, but most importantly you can do it with nourishing food.

This week we’re sharing Rye’s recipe for a whole roasted chicken.  Not only is it a simple preparation with delicious results, but it will give you bones to make bone broth, plus she includes ideas for using the meat throughout the week.

What I like most about her recipe is the beginning, where she talks about repairing your relationship with animal foods.  In video #1 of Heal Your Gut, Heal Your Body, Rye talked about mindfulness, and that goes for knowing what you’re eating and why, too.  Preparing a roast chicken heals any disconnect you may have from years of packaged and processed animal products that don’t feel like pieces of living beings; it will put you more in touch with your choices, and that is always healing.

I’ll let Rye tell you the rest in her own words.
Happy remodeling!

Whole Roast Chicken

Whole Roasted Chicken

This tends to be an intimidating preparation for many people, they often feel nervous or grossed out about seeing/touching/cooking a whole chicken, likely because of the innards and bones, and the fact that it actually looks like a beheaded animal. People who are often grossed out by a whole chicken have been cooking boneless skinless breasts from packages for years, and in many ways might be detached from the fact that they are eating an animal. Facing a whole chicken is a great way to get closer to your food and swallow the fact that you are eating a creature that once lived {and finding gratitude for it!}. -Love, Rye

Rye’s Tips:
1. Most whole chickens are sold with the neck and the giblets in the cavity, they must be removed before roasting. Save the neck for using in your bone broth and, if you are so inclined, the liver for cooking up separately with onions.
2. This is a perfect recipe to make weekly; I do it nearly every Sunday. It can be eaten roasted with vegetables and served with a green salad as a Sunday dinner, then the remainder of the meat can be shredded and used throughout the week in skillet bowls, cubed in kids lunches, in burritos/quesadillas, etc. Alternatively, it can be made without the vegetables, just quickly stuffed with aromatics, seasoned, and roasted for a quick protein to eat all week long, then the bones may be used for making broth once the chicken is picked clean.

3. This is a method, not a recipe. What you stuff in the cavity, what spices you season with, and what vegetables you roast with the chicken provide endless variations and a number of ways to use up those odds and ends in the refrigerator from the week: that half of a shriveled lemon can go into the cavity, an onion rolling around the produce drawer can be quartered and roasted with the veggies, any leftover herbs, even wilted, can be packed into the cavity.

1 Whole Organic Chicken {about 3 pounds}
1/2 – 1 piece of citrus {lemon, lime, orange, tangerine, etc.} quartered
Small handful fresh herbs {thyme, rosemary, tarragon, parsley}
3 Tbsp melted butter or ghee {or palm or coconut oil if dairy-free}, melted
Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste
Spices of choosing {garlic powder, curry powder, jerk seasonings, cumin, or Italian herbs are all good choices}
Optional: Vegetables for placing around the chicken if you want to make a meal of it: carrots, parsnips, onions, any kind of potatoes, whole garlic cloves, turnips, fennel, etc.
1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
2. Remove the neck and giblets from the inside of the chicken cavity.
3. If you are making an entire meal of this, chop your veggies into large cubes, and toss with butter/ghee/oil; season generously with sea salt and pepper. Place veggies in the baking dish, and push to the sides to make room for the chicken in the middle.
4. Rinse the bird under cold running water and pat until very dry, wet chicken skin will not get crispy. Place the chicken, breast side up, in the center of your baking dish. Brush all of the skin with melted fat. Generously season the cavity of the bird with sea salt and pepper, and stuff the cavity with as many of your citrus quarters as you can fit, plus your herbs.
5. Roast the chicken on a middle rack for about 45-55 minutes, or until a meat thermometer in the thigh registers about 170 degrees and/or the juices run clear when the tip of a knife is inserted into the thigh joint. At about 30 minutes in, you may opt to remove the pan and tilt the chicken so the juices that have collected inside the cavity spill out into the pan and coat the vegetables, which makes for awesome flavor on the vegetables. Watch the chicken towards the end to make sure the skin does not burn, and tent with foil if it looks like it’s going in that direction.
6. Remove the chicken and allow it to rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it, even longer if possible. Pull a piece of the citrus from the cavity and squeeze any juices from it onto the chicken and vegetables.
7. For a deeply flavorful meal, carve the chicken to the best of your ability {it still tastes great just hacked apart, however inexpertly!}, and combine chicken  parts with vegetables, all of the juices from the roasting pan and a squeeze of citrus. Season everything with salt and pepper and toss it all together until coated with seasonings and flavors before serving.
8. Enjoy!

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Liz Flint-Somerville, Nutritional Consultant

Liz was a partner in Grub for 3 amazing years and helped author many of our most beloved recipes and posts. She is now dedicating her time to caring for her family, writing poetry, and continuing to cook delicious Real Foods.

2 Responses to “Whole Roasted Chicken”

  1. Pat Rittenmeyer March 23, 2016 at 7:49 pm #

    cosco had whole organic chickens last wk. one of my favorite things to cook. and yes, broth is divine.
    thanks for all the ideas. i usually make a bed of celery, onion, carrots. I’m going to ry some of your ideas.

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