chicken

Indian Spiced Whole Roast Chicken

This chicken was absolutely the most moist and tender roast chicken Brent or I have ever made. We were in complete awe of our success. The complex flavors and strong aromas had us smiling and drooling for days. It actually took us two days to make it, because our efforts were very much trial and error. But it was worth it. You must try this!


Indian Spiced Whole Roast Chicken
Ingredients

  • 1 whole, 4-pound chicken
  • 7 cloves garlic, separated into 4 cloves pressed and 3 cloves pressed
  • 3/8 teaspoon freshly grated ginger, separated into 1/4 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon 
  • 3 and 1/2 teaspoons graham marsala, separated into 1 and 1/2 teaspoons and 2 teaspoons
  • 1 teaspoon ground hot chili
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 teaspoon powdered tarragon
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 tablespoons ghee (or coconut oil or olive oil)
  • 6 cloves
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 4 cardamom pods, cracked
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups chicken broth, separated evenly
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
Method

*Note: This is a low and slow recipe. Plan to have it cooking all day.

1. Rinse the chicken inside and out, and pat it dry with paper towels or a cloth.

2. Make a paste by combining the following:

  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground chili
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

3. Rub the inside cavity of the chicken and the entire outside of the chicken with the paste.

4. Place the whole chicken in your large baking/roasting dish, cover, and allow it to marinate for 2 to 3 hours.

5. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

6. Heat the ghee in a skillet over medium-high.

7. Add the onion, 3 remaining cloves of garlic (pressed), and remaining 1/4 tsp of ginger (grated) and cook until the onion is browned.

8. Add the cloves, black peppercorns, cracked cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and 1 cup of the chicken broth to the skillet mixture. Simmer for about 2 minutes, until fragrant and well blended into a baste.

9. Spread the baste over the chicken, cover and cook in the oven for at least 90 minutes, basting every 15 minutes or so with the pan juices, or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches somewhere between 150 and 155 degrees.

10. Uncover the chicken and pour the remaining cup of chicken broth over it.

11. Turn up the oven to 410 degrees F.

12. Bake the chicken until it browns on the top and reaches an internal temperature somewhere between 160 and 165 degrees.

13. Mix the tarragon and remaining 2 teaspoons of garam masala into the 2 tablespoons of water. Then drizzle over the chicken.

14. Finish it off by sprinkling a little chopped cilantro for garnish on top.

Angry Chicken "Parm"

delicious easy chicken parm paleo

[Updated September 12, 2013]

These chicken parm bites are something that Heather came up with back in June of 2012, very early into our real food journey.  Lucky for us, we had started this blog, so the recipe was kept documented.  Unlucky for us, we were very new with our presentation, so neither our directions or pictures were especially helpful.

Another win in our favor is that we have since made great friends in the community who led us to take better pictures and inspired us to do better work.  As this is one of our favorite recipes, we updated it recently to share with you.  This is absolutely fabulous, and I think you will really like it.  These little “parm poppers” are delicious on their own, but definitely are well suited to the zoodles and red sauce.  I would gather you could likely use this wash and coating on larger cuts of chicken as well, but we haven’t tried it just yet.  Either way, we hope you’ll love this creation.  Let us know what you think!

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Safety tips (for proteins)

Be safe, but waste not! If you have protein that’s been sitting in your refrigerator a few too many days, use these quick tips* to make sure it’s safe to eat.  
  • To remove bad smells: Wash in a salt-water bath (or rub with salt and rinse) just before use.
  • To remove small amounts of slime or film: Wash in a salt-water bath (or rub with salt and rinse) just before use.

*Consider throwing out the item if a salt-water bath does not eliminate the smell or remove the slime.

  • Greenish tinted fat: Trim off beef or pork; as long as it’s just a few areas on the fat, the meat will be fine.
  • Black or green meat: If there are many spots or large portions that have turned colors, throw it away. In cases like these, trimming the bad parts and washing in salt water probably won’t be enough to protect you and your family from possible illness.

NOTE: If the meat tastes funy after using any one or more of these tips and after cooking, stop eating it and throw it out immediately. Don’t make yourself sick just to save a few pennies. It’s not worth it.


These are just a few tips brought to you by me, via my dad (a “butcher by trade”). What tips do you have for safely preparing and consuming meat? We’d love to hear from you!

Pesto- and Avocado-Stuffed Chicken

This post is well over due… oops! Last week, we had two small chickens (they were on sale at the store, packaged together, so we couldn’t resist even though they were not on our shopping list) and we needed to find someway to make use of them or else butcher them further to freeze the parts. Freezing a whole chicken is something I’ve never attempted, nor do I ever want to; and cutting it up to freeze it in pieces just seemed like so much work. :p

So, instead, we nixed a one or two other planned meals and made the chickens. Tuesday night, after dinner, I set to making homemade pesto for our first roast chicken. Brent or I (honestly, I don’t remember who’s idea it was) thought stuffing the chicken with pesto would be more interesting that the standard lemon and garlic roast chicken. In addition, to try adding texture and substance, we agreed we’d crisp up some of the shredded white sweet potato (seriously, we had a lot of this stuff–it’s gone into a ton of recipes lately!) and add that plus some avocado to the chicken cavity.


Ok, so here we go with official ingredients and process…

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 package of basil (about 3 to 4 cups)
  • 1 whole chicken (ours was about 2 and 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1/4 cup of shredded white sweet potato
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (or enough olive oil to brush over the entire chicken)
Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Blend the olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, basil and a pinch of salt in a food processor or blender. Ta da! You now have a very basic, homemade pesto. 🙂
3. Spread out the shredded white sweet potato on a baking sheet. Bake in the over for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until at least some are crispy.
Meanwhile, prepare the chicken: remove any gizzards and other internal business, rinse it under cold water, and pat dry with a paper towel. Place on the rack in your roasting pan.
4. Brush the entire chicken (top, bottom and sides, but not the inside) with olive oil.
5. Chop the half of avocado.
6. Gently mix the avocado, shredded sweet potato and pesto together in a medium bowl.
7. Using a big spoon, ladle or your hands to scoop the pesto mixture into the cavity of the chicken.
8. Sprinkle the chicken with a little salt and pepper–as much as you like. Also, tie the legs closed with cooking twine.
9. Roast in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes per pound, until a meat thermometer reads 175 degrees when inserted into the breast of the chicken.
We like to roast our chickens closer to 20 minutes per pound because you can always cook more if it comes out under done; you can’t undo overcooking.
Our chicken came out incredibly moist, and the skin was just a little crispy. If you like really crispy skin, crank up the heat at the beginning or the end for about 10 to 20 minutes.
When serving, make sure you scoop out some of the sweet and savory pesto mixture from inside the chicken. I’ll admit, I was a bit leery of the combination of avocado, sweet potato, and pesto; but it was really tasty! Some sweet, some salt, some savory, a little crisp from the skin and a good portion of creamy goodness from the stuffing over the slices of moist chicken breast… delicious!

Shredded Buffalo Chicken

One thing I’ve been missing for a long time is buffalo.  Wings, tenders, salads, and any combination thereof.  All of that came to a screeching halt when I had to cut out added sugar and breaded foods.

While I mourned, I also searched.  Luckily I found two different sauces that fit the bill:

  • Louisiana’s Pure Crystal Hot Sauce
  • Tobasco Buffalo Style Hot Sauce
The main difference between the two is that the Tobasco has garlic in it.  I decided to go with that one, but I also bought the Crystal, so experiments will come with that later.  
Here’s what I needed:
  • 8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 3 pressed garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp Tobasco Buffalo Hot Sauce
First you want to preheat your oven to 425ºF, and place your chicken thighs on a bake pan; I used a roasting pan.
Then I roasted the thighs for 30 minutes.  About 15 minutes in, I added a the ghee and a tbsp of the hot sauce, along with the garlic cloves into my slow cooker on the lowest setting.
After letting the chicken sit a bit, I pulled the skins off and started shredding the thighs in a large bowl.  This takes some patience, but the chicken is so juicy.
Finally I add the chicken to the mixture in the slow cooker, and add an additional 2 tbsp on top of the chicken.
Mix thoroughly and let cook on low (this slow cooker goes from 1 to 5, and I kept it on 1) for 45 minutes, and then it’s good to go.
Next time I will roast the garlic first, as it is a little sharp, but still tasty.  I can’t wait to use this over salads, or in a romaine leaf with some slices of avocado on top.  The possibilities are endless, and I get to have my buffalo back!

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Chicken Salad

Here’s my attempt at Haley’s Homemade Chicken Salad from the Food Lovers’ Primal Palate (recipe here).  This is one of my favorite recipes, and I thoroughly recommend it. My one cautionary tale: 

When making homemade mayonnaise, your choice of oil makes all the difference.  I can’t find/afford a cup of macadamia oil, so I usually use 3/4 cup of coconut oil and 1/4 cup walnut oil.  Unfortunately I ran out of those things and had to make up the difference with olive oil.  DO NOT do that.  The flavor isn’t miserable, but it does leave something to be desired.  

Baked Jalapeño Dijon Grilled Chicken

Full disclosure:  I pulled this recipe from Civilized Caveman and played around with it a little bit.  It was delicious; spicy and flavorful and ridiculously juicy.  I forgot how much better bone-in and skin-on chicken is, and the best part is that it’s less expensive than the prepared stuff.

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