For the most part, Northern Califoria has looked like this for the past couple days:
To boot I’ve been in and out of doctor’s appointments with painful swollen lymph nodes in my neck and a truck load of school work to do. What do I want to do in times like this? Cook! So last night on my way home I picked up a fryer chicken to roast. Now, this might seem oxymoronic, but the labeling of the chicken doesn’t stop me from doing with I want with it. Fryer chickens are generally smaller and more tender… which means I can roast it for about an hour and a half and it comes out perfect. Although it was a weeknight, this really was not that complicated of a dinner. Just come home, rinse chicken, salt, pop into oven. Do chores/homework for an hour and a half and bam! amazing home cooked comfort food dinner.
Now, I don’t always buy all organic and sustainable raised things. But I try. Yesterday I did my shopping at The Nugget, a locally owned grocery store that does provide affordable organic and local food. They also provide little recipe options in case you don’t know what you want. I knew I wanted roasted chicken and mashed potatoes, but I didn’t know what veggie. Basic green salad seemed to summery so when I saw their recipe for Braised Greens I thought it was a perfect compromise.
Although I considered this a very fancy meal, I was shocked at how little it cost! I decided to share:
Rocky Whole Chicken (sustainably, humanely, raised without antibiotics) $5.71 ($1.5/lb)
Red Potatoes $.54 ($.50/lb)
Sunflower Seeds $1.32
Organic Pumpkin seeds $1.15
Organic Mustard Greens $2.99
Organic Red Chard $1.99
Organic Mustard Green $2.99
Such a deal! Really, I was so impressed. There was enough food that this meal probably could have fed 5, really. I’m going to make soup with the left over chicken, and we have enough greens for about two more salads. Although there aren’t any more potatoes… not sure where they all went!
The mashed potatoes I made with no fuss during the last 20 minutes of the chicken roasting. The Braised Greens I made as soon as I took out the chicken and it was resting. The chicken, was TO DIE FOR!
I basically followed this “Favorite Simple Roast Chicken” from epicurious, with a couple deviations.
Mon Poulet Roti
- One 2- to 3-pound farm-raised chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Rinse the chicken, then dry it very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.
Truss the bird. There are lots of videos on how to do this. As you can see from the pictures, I didn’t do it exactly right. But it didn’t matter. I just tied the legs together and it came out fine.
Salt and pepper the chicken. I basically ground fresh sea salt over the top of the chicken and rubbed it in. When it was done, the skin was crunchy and you could get little bits of the salt–heavenly. Season to taste with pepper.
I used my chicken pot, but you could use any roasting pan. Then put it in the oven, and forget-a-bout it. Really. I left it alone. No butter, no basting. Nothing.
I was using an old fashioned meat thermometer so every once and awhile, I’d just peak to check on it, but other than that, nothing.
My bird was about 3.5 lbs. So it was about 1.5 hours before it reached the FDA recommendation of 165 degrees. Make sure you check your bird is done. Then bring it out and let it sit–good idea to baste it now.
While the chicken was resting, I made the Braised Greens according to the Nugget recipe, carved up the chicken, and served! Well, I ate the wings and the butt (the best parts) before the chicken even got to the table, but Andrew didn’t even notice. Amazing weeknight meal and completely satisfied my need for comfort food (and my wallet thanks to the Nugget!)