Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Best Roasted Chicken Recipe... Ever


Hi Readers!

I'm writing this post with my eyes squinted as I look at the computer screen. I've been going, going, going lately and finally my body just has had enough. I haven't been taking my enzymes and probiotics and I got sick yesterday. I am trying with all of my might to fill up on Vitamin D drops, probiotics (I'm ingesting them and also brushing out my mouth with a little paste I make with the inside of the capsules and water), ginger baths, and homemade chicken noodle soup with raw garlic as my natural antibiotics and raw ginger as my anti-nausea (thank you, Gram!). I'm praying that this will clear the sickness up so that I do not have to take antibiotics. I wouldn't feel guilty taking them at all if it came down to that after exhausting all other options, I just don't like the affects it has on my body when I'm taking them and a while afterward. When I was a little girl I had heart surgery and for years after that I really struggled from the affects of the antibiotics in my body. So, I am trying to prevent that from happening if I can. It's fitting in a sense that this week is about "the chicken" since I am really feeling very grateful I had some of my homemade chicken stock in my grandmother's freezer for her to use if necessary. She made me the homemade chicken noodle soup with the broth, and that is one of my go to recipes when anyone is sick. I make the chicken broth out of the bones that are leftover when I make roasted chicken for my family. A roasted chicken is about $11-- at least the organic one I buy usually is. That can seem a tad pricey, but when I end up getting four meals out of that $11 it's amazing! I make the roasted chicken, then I use the bones to make a broth, then I use the leftover chicken scraps for lettuce wraps or chicken salad lunches during the week and then I use the broth to make a soup or to flavor rice and beans. I end up getting so much out of one little chicken. As ya'll know, I'm all about saving money. It takes a lot to decide to eat healthy and organic since it does take a little more time and planning, so I get excited about making healthy meals that are easy and are also cheap. This is my go-to for both of those. The recipe could not be easier and only requires a chicken, a pan, a meat thermometer, and coconut oil!




Roasted Chicken Recipe: 

I remember a few months after I was married I was looking for the best roasted chicken recipe to take to a friend that had just had a baby. I wanted to take her one of those comforting meals. I scored the internet and of course not only found Julia Child's recipe but thousands of others. There were even people who made various recipes with various cooking temperatures and methods and compared the results side by side. Even after reading this plethora of information I was still just as helpless as to which recipe to make and which one was the best. I'm like all of those others who want that crispy skin yet moist meat. I initially made a few of the recipes I found online and was less than impressed with any of them really. I was more so impressed that I just knew how to deal with a whole chicken and used the little baker's twine to tie the legs. The chicken itself however never came out with crispy skin and I was lucky if it was moist. I had even brined a few of the chickens! Fast forward to a few months when I had a whole chicken in my fridge that needed to be made and I had forgot to brine it and I didn't have anything to stuff the cavities. I just needed to make it quickly and be done with it, so I decided to just rub it with coconut oil, salt, and pepper and be done with it. The only other thing I did was change the temperature while cooking it. Ben and I were honestly shocked. The chicken came out with gorgeous, bubbly, crispy skin and yet the inside meat was literally falling off of the bone. The skin was so crispy we kept saying it reminded us of eating fried chicken! I was shocked that I had made all of those other fancy recipes all of that time hoping for that elated reaction and satisfaction of making the perfect roasted chicken with only one slight disappointment after another, and then in a whim of lack of planning and even what I deemed somewhat laziness I ended up with the absolute most perfect roasted chicken-- maybe that I had ever had?! I honestly still can't believe it because it's not all of the time that you make something that you're that happy with-- at least not me. Ben kept saying over and over again that this was the best chicken he had ever had in his life. That in and of itself is nothing short of a miracle! So, here is the recipe! You will be surprised with how easy it is! The hardest part is almost unwrapping the chicken.


Recipe: 

( I am not a food photographer, so please excuse my grainy, not impressive pictures. The pictures definitely do not do this one justice. I will try and practice my photography skills. )

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 500F.

Step 2: Unwrap the chicken and pat dry. The dryer you get the chicken the more seasoned it will be.

Step 3: Place your chicken in a roasting pan or baking dish and tie the legs with baker's twine. If you don't have baker's twine, then don't worry about tying the legs. Sometimes it helps the chicken cook more evenly, but I've done it with and without and it comes out great either way.

Step 4: Warm your coconut oil so that it is liquid. The way I do this (since I don't like the microwave) is to place a small amount (maybe 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup) in a small mason jar (another great use of those mason jars) and warm it slightly in the oven. Don't leave it in there too long or your jar could break. I've never had my jar break, but I'm just guessing that could happen. You could also place a small amount in a small mason jar and close the mason jar tightly and run it under warm water. However you want to do it is fine, you just want the coconut oil to be liquid to start out with since it will harden up and become hard to spread as you place it against the cold chicken.

This is after I warmed the coconut oil in the oven. You can see that
 it wasn't melted all the way, but if it's melted partly you can
 stir the rest and it will melt as you stir it.

Step 5: After the coconut oil is warmed and melted, take it and rub it all around the chicken. I rub it in every single crevice and space. ( This is also why it's important to take the coconut oil out before hand and place it in another bowl. You don't want to stick your chicken hands into your regular coconut oil jar. ) I make sure to rub the coconut oil all over and generously. The oil will slightly start to get thick and it may be hard to spread. Don't worry. You can leave it in big clumps, just rub it and pat it onto the chicken as much as you can. I even rub oil on the bottom of the chicken as well, and also inside the cavity. (Sometimes I do use rubber gloves for this part).

You can see the oil has solidified as it's been rubbed
over the cold chicken.

Step 6: Clean your hands then generously salt and pepper the chicken all over-- even inside the cavity and then stick your chicken thermometer into the chicken.

Step 7: Place the chicken into the oven that has been preheated to 500F. As soon as you put in the chicken turn the temperature down to 450F. I let it cook at 450F for about 15 minutes and then I check it. I mainly am looking to make sure the bottom of the chicken isn't burning, and if it seems to look burned I add maybe 2 tablespoons of water to the bottom of the pan. I want there to be the good juices from the chicken, but if it burns then the juices evaporate. So, I like to add a little water to the bottom of the pan to make sure that doesn't happen. I've only had to do this once, so that isn't as much of a common occurrence.

Step 8: After the chicken has cooked at 450F for 15 minutes turn it down to 415F.

Step 9: Generally speaking, chickens usually take about 15 minutes additionally per pound. However, I just check my thermometer. every ten minutes or so at this point. Chickens are done when the thermometer reaches 165. I will usually take the chicken out when the thermometer has reached that and then poke it in two other places to make sure it reads 165F in different places of the bird.  When it reads at least 165 all over, you know it's done. As you can see below, my husband Ben picked up the bone and the rest of the meat just fell right off. This meat is so tender. Don't throw away the bones or the carcass! Use it to make chicken broth. I did not get a good picture of the skin but it crackles as you eat it it's so crispy. It's perfect with a side of roasted vegetables, quinoa, or even a small dinner salad. Yum!!

Please excuse the picture of my husband's thumb.
More noteworthy however is how the chicken
literally falls off the bone!


P.S. I made this roasted chicken first, then I made the broth out of the bones, and that broth is what I made my vegetable soup out of.
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