When my partner and I first started dating, we often joke about how I stole her heart with my roasted chickens.
She didn't know much about cooking or food when we first met. And, I soon discovered that I didn't need to woo her with ornate dishes such as roast duck with plum sauce, Julia Child's infamous beef bogenion nor a rosemary crusted rack of lamb. I could even set aside my creme brûlée torch.
What really won her heart was the succulent, juicy, tender flavors of a roasted chicken.
Of course, she thought it took me hours in the kitchen, prepping all day to roast a bird. You should have seen her face when I taught her how to do it: melt butter, smother chicken with butter, sprinkle chicken with herbs, bake for one hour fifteen minutes.
She was convinced that roasting a chicken would take her all day, slaving away in the kitchen, following arduous instructions on how to roast the perfect bird.
Since divulging my secret bird roasting tips to her, roasting a chicken is now her favorite thing to cook.
So, to all of you out there with roasted chicken fear, fear not my Primal friends, roasting a bird is a simple, nourishing and Primal task. Here are a few of my secrets on how to make your chicken roasting event a Primal success!
1. Look for organic, pasture-raised chickens (gold standard). If you cannot find pasture-raised, organic is your next bet, soy-free even better!
2. Keep it simple. Adding very few herbs and spices is my recommendation when it comes to roasting a bird. The skin is rich in flavor due to its lusciously high vitamin D content. So, I like to stick to the basics: Celtic sea salt, turmeric (gives it beautiful color and is a potent anti-inflammatory) and maybe a little thyme or rosemary, depending on what side dishes you're planning on making with it.
3. Don't overcook your bird. It'll taste dry and bland and will place more stress on your digestive tract. Also, only baste the bird 1-2 times during cooking. Overbasting your bird will actually make it more dry.
The breast of the chicken is leaner and I highly recommend smothering it in chicken fat, goose fat, sour cream or a homemade blue cheese dressing while eating. This will improve your body's ability to absorb and assimilate all those nutrients in the chicken. And, of course, don't skimp on the skin! The skin contains the greatest amount of nutrients (beside the organs). It's jam packed with vitamin D and other fat soluble vitamins-a Primal delicacy indeed!
How to Roast a Chicken
1 3-4lb pasture-raised chicken
3 tablespoons grass-fed butter, goose fat or lard
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp Celtic sea salt
1/2 tsp fresh grinder black or green pepper, optional
Thyme or Rosemary, optional
1. Place animal fat in a pyrex baking dish big enough to fit your bird. Place in the oven at 350. Remove pan when fat has melted.
2. Smother chicken on all sides with fat. Spread spices of your choice evenly throughout the bird.
3. Place in the oven and bake at 350° for 1 hour and 15 minutes, 1 hour and 30 minutes for a 4 pound bird. Baste 1-2 times during that time.
4. Remove from oven. Let cool. Serve and watch the people go wild for your roasted chicken!
If you like crispy chicken skin, turn your heat to broil to crisp the top and bottom of the bird. Broil for 10 minutes per side. Do this about 20 minutes before the bird is done.
Heathar is a primal foods enthusiast and expert. She has studied food and nutrition for over 15 years and continues to do so to this day. When Heathar isn't in the kitchen, she's either writing, hiking or doing her primal energetics thing. If you are interested in discovering how Heathar's nutrition work may benefit you, contact her to schedule a free 45-minute phone consultation. Until then, Eat, Live and Be Primal!