The Versatile Roasted Chicken

When we first made the transition to “real food” and started buying grass-fed, pastured meats one of the things I noticed the most was (1) how fresh the meats smelled during cooking, i.e. when I was cooking ground beef I kept saying to myself gosh I’ve smelt that smell before and although I couldn’t put my finger on it right away I remembered that smell from my childhood! That’s how ground beef smelled when I was kid! I know, it sounds silly, silly but true; and (2) chicken when cooked had a much more succulent taste, it has a richer flavor than conventional chicken plus when roasted the dark meat really isn’t dark it’s just a shade darker than the white meat and ooooohhh soooo good, succulent, moist, juicy and simply delish! In my house, Big Daddy likes the white meat and I prefer the dark meat but … if roasted Big Daddy loves the dark meat, something he used to refuse to eat before switching to “real food.” This is simply my observation.
The other night for dinner we had a Whole Roasted Chicken, Citrus Couscous with Sweet Peas and Sautéed Spinach as I mentioned in my post“Super Foods” has been re-coined as “Hero Foods” by Chef Seamus Mullen. The Citrus Couscous was fabulous by the way! Sorry I don’t have a pic for that meal but we were famished and just couldn’t wait any longer to eat! Next time!
So, what about Roasted Chicken? This is one dish that truly brings out the frugality in me. A whole Roasted Chicken yields us 2 dinners, a lunch or two depending on how hungry we are lol and 2 32oz containers of homemade chicken stock not to mention my little snack of organ meats while finishing up dinner LOL! Nothing goes to waste and I use every single part of the chicken, how cool is that?
To show you the versatility of my Roasted Chicken (recipe below) I’m going to list out what I have made with only 1 Whole Chicken:

Note: We are a family of 2 so if you have a larger family I suggest starting with 2 Roasted Chickens for a family of 4-5 and if you have the capacity 3 Roasted Chickens for 6 – 8. You can roast all the chickens at once if you have a large oven like myself.

Dinner  #1: Whole Roasted Chicken, Citrus Couscous with Sweet Peas and Sautéed Spinach, as mentioned above.
Dinner #2: Chicken Tacos/Burritos (whatever you want to call them lol) using my Homemade Flour Tortilla recipe, organic grape tomatoes, organic fresh spinach, thinly sliced organic red onion and a dollop of farm fresh sour cream w/ probiotics or homemade sour cream. You can use whatever you have on hand or need to use up in your tacos/burritos. Serve with avocado slices and a small side salad.
Lunch #1: Leftover Citrus Couscous with pulled chicken (dark meat) sautéed in olive oil and your favorite spices … I have been using a lot of Indian spices (all organic) and used garam marsala, curry powder, cayenne pepper, cumin powder, garlic powder, a dash of onion powder, salt and pepper to taste.  Heat the Couscous slightly top with pulled chicken and a dollop of sour cream. Yum! I have enough dark meat to have this for lunch again today! Yeah!
Lunch #2: Sliced Chicken (white meat) on leftover Tortillas for Big Daddy’s lunch. I have enough white meat to make 2 of these lunches for Big Daddy!
2 (32oz) Containers of Homemade Chicken Stock
Wow! I got 2 dinners, 2+ lunches, a snack and 2 containers of homemade stock from just 1 whole chicken! 1 slightly major cooking day and the rest was gravy … just heat and eat meals … now that’s progress in a real food diet where cooking is always happening! 

Note: Leftover chicken can be divided into portions and frozen for quick meals too!

Whole Roasted Chicken:
Start with a grass-fed whole chicken, remove organ meats, wash real good and pat dry with paper towels inside and out. This is to prevent the chicken from steaming.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place chicken and organ meats in a roasting pan and massage with olive oil, under the skin and on top of the skin. Sprinkle with your favorite spices, salt and pepper to taste. I also take fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme and a pinch or two of oregano and stuff the cavity of the chicken. After you sprinkle the spices on the chicken, massage it gently to distribute the spice evenly over the entire bird.
Cook chicken for approximately 1 to 1 ½  hours depending on the size of the chicken taking great care not to over cook. Over cooking the chicken can produce a very dried out experience. A well cooked chicken should just start to pull apart from the bone and register 160 on a meat thermometer.
Baste occasionally.
Once chicken is done make sure to let it rest for 20 minutes before carving! This will produce a succulent, moist and juicy chicken!
Have you discovered an extremely versatile meat? Do you have a basic recipe you can turn into multiple meals? Let us know by commenting below!

This post shared on Real Food Wednesday

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