Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Free Range Roast Chicken Dinner

See this little chicken?  This chicken is going to be our dinner tonight.  

Seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Not too long ago this little chicken was running happily around a farm with green grass in Decatur Indiana called Pasture's Delights.  Enjoying life like a chicken should.  Out in the open, breathing fresh air, eating a diet that has not been genetically modified, not being pumped full of antibiotics but living a happy chicken life.  This chicken was not piled 7 stories high in a chicken house with 100,000 other chickens who have been fed or injected steroids, who are pooping on one another constantly and living in a stinky chicken house that is 100 degrees plus.  

Anyway you get my point...know where your chicken comes from.  And buy chickens that were healthy from the beginning, not sickly little birds barely existing.  You want to be healthy, so make sure your food is healthy when you buy it.

Please visit Pasture's Delights website and please read Farmer Mark's information comparing pastured chicken verses conventional chickens.  I just bought my last organic chicken breast from Costco.  Though it is organic, the chickens are not raised humanely.  So, it's all local chicken for us from here on out.  :-)  

Here is the link to Pasture's Delights chicken information

This is an actual picture of the chicks at Pasture's Delights Farm.

This recipe is so easy and delicious, you will be pleased all around.  The white meat is as moist as the dark meat.  Soooooo good!

Roasted Chicken Dinner
Whole chicken, free range pastured chicken 
1 Tbsp Kosher salt (I don't know why kosher and not sea salt...need to do more research here)
1/2 tsp black pepper
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
Total time:  Approximately 90 minutes

1.  Place a 12 inch cast iron skillet in oven an heat oven to 450.
2.  Combine salt and pepper in a small bowl
3.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels
4.  Rub olive oil all over chicken
5.  Sprinkle and rub in salt and pepper mixture on both sides of chicken
6.  Lay chicken, breast side up on a plate, tie legs together with twine or kite string
7.  Tuck wing tips behind back of chicken
8.  Carefully place chicken in your preheated skillet, there will be popping, be careful
9.  Roast chicken for 25-35 minutes until breast registers 120 degrees and thighs register 135 degrees.  Be very careful when taking chicken out of oven, it is obviously very hot and there are some popping going on too
10.  Turn oven off and leave chicken in oven, still in the cast iron skillet for another 25-35 minutes until breasts register 160 degrees and thighs register 175
11.  Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest, uncovered for 20 minutes
12.  Carve chicken and serve.  I am serving mine with steamed organic broccoli and white basmati rice.  Yum!

Let me know what you think!

What chicken looked like after first 30 minutes of roasting.

Well, it's official, I reeeally love my boys...I let them eat both legs tonight. (*sigh*)

And don't forget to keep the bones to make a delicious chicken stock.  Please refer to the Healthy Home Economist website for more info on making chicken stock, check out Sarah's video.  

Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated.

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