Chicken, is the cheapest (after tofu) source of protein. It’s available throughout the year and you can get it from almost any place. However, if you are skeptical with the quality of meat available, like me, then you will need to work a little harder on it.
We stopped consuming chicken when some videos went viral showing how inhumanely poulterers reared chicken and about antibiotic being injected into them. We did not become vegetarian, we just decided to get our protein source from fish.
Then the fish industry was under fire because of lead pollution in rivers, contaminating every living thing in it. More bad news, even the vegetables were not spared; strong pesticides and a lot of GMO products.
I wish I could survive without food but we know that isn’t possible, well not for me at least. Though I have seen a couple who have not eaten proper meal for over a year and are still surviving. I love food too much to give it up. I am never, ever, giving up on eating.
After finding a good source of chicken meat, I have slowly introduced chicken into my meals I started off with soups and broths. Then slowly we moved on to consuming a whole chicken, every part of, almost every part.
Today’s recipe was inspired by the man who made me fall in love with cooking, my Naked Chef. No, he didn’t cook naked, though I don’t think I would have minded it. It was his food, everything was fresh, simple and easy to get. He’s quite famous you know. You should know him. C’mon! I know you know him
But I was out of ingredients (I’ve been to busy with my girls football that I could not find time to go grocery shopping). Searched my fridge and googled for a recipe that called for the ingredients I had at hand and the result was, way better than expected.
Simplicity. I always do well when I keep it simple.
So let me introduce you to my cast members aka the ingredients;
Free-range chicken, 3 BIG tablespoon butter & lemon
To make this; start off by cleaning and patting dry your chicken. Make sure to let it sit in room temperature for 30 minutes before you start slathering it with the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 200’C.
Break up the butter, zest the lemon rind into the butter, season it with salt and pepper. Mix everything up
Give the chicken a good massage. Let it chillax and don’t forget to tickle under its wings and thighs. You want butter at every nook and crane. Even the inside of the chicken.
Squeeze the juice of two lemons, yes seriously, and stuff the the lemon into the chicken cavity. Push it deep inside. Prick holes on the third lemon and stuff that whole lemon in too. If you have some fresh herbs, which I did not, stuff some fresh rosemary in it as well.
Reduce the heat to 175’C and let it bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Bake breast side up and half way through, baste the chicken with the juice and turn the chicken. This extra step is not necessary but I like my roast to be golden with crisp skin all over.
Once done, foil the chicken and let it cool before you attempt carving it. I’m not particularly good at it but I am rather satisfied with my result. Start by removing the thighs legs, you can easily break loose once the chicken is cooked well. Then break free the wings. Now you may start by slicing the breasts and work you way until you reach the middle. Nothing beats using your hands removing the meat from the bones. Don’t throw the bones away because they make a good broth.
A lot of butter it never wrong. Use the remainder (if any) for roasting vegetables. I have a big oven so I like to bake as many things as I possible can each time I crank up my oven.
The butter is also good for seafood. Remember, lemon on my salmon?
Chop up some portobello mushrooms and season it with salt & pepper and some dried herbs. Rub the butter on some prawns and throw them on top of the mushrooms. Throw in a couple of garlic cloves too. Bake this at 175’C for 20-25 minutes or until the prawns are pink.
The roasted bones make for a good broth. For lunch, next day, I made some simple broth using the carcass, potatoes, wolf berries and mushrooms. You can any vegetables you like or don’t use any, would be fine too. Here I am using rice noodles, season with a little light soya sauce, salt and pepper. Topped it up with Shitake mushroom and shredded chicken from my roast.
for more recipes head over to: my recipes page
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