Wednesday, December 14, 2011
dark days challenge, week three: roast chicken
our dark days challenge dinner: butterflied roast chicken, roasted carrots and salad.
this week's meal started in our garden. this is our first year growing a year-round garden. i planted these carrots in september and have really enjoyed having them to harvest in december. half of them are still in the ground. i'm thinking about leaving a couple alone just to see how big they'll get.
we grew an assortment of parmex and little finger varieties. they are earthy and sweet. the parmex carrots are round like little orange golf balls.
my little helper sorting the carrots. then they were washed, chopped roughly and tossed with olive oil and salt and pepper. i roasted them at 400 degrees and then put them back in the oven when i pulled the chicken out...and then they burned. fortunately they still tasted good.
this is a pasture-raised chicken from kookoolan farms. i adapted a cook's illustrated recipe for this. i pretty much follow their recommendations, although i brine the chicken for up to 4 hours instead of one. it helps tenderize the chicken. otherwise i find that pasture-raised birds, that actually used to walk around outside, can be a bit tougher than what most people are accustomed to eating. the brining tenderizes them while also helping retain their juices and gives a nice flavor.
local: chicken from kookoolan farms, carrots from our front yard garden, lettuce, garlic and beets from groundwork organics, mushrooms from oregon (according to our local grocery store)
not local: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, parmesan cheese (i grated the cheese on the salad without even thinking about it. i'm going to look for a local replacement as soon as we finish this stuff.)
i'd give you a recipe for the salad dressing, but i really just eyeball it. i put a small fork full of mustard in a large bowl. then i pour in a gulg of olive oil, add a splash of vinegar and a minced garlic clove. i whisk it all together and taste it and adjust it if i need to.
here's the chicken recipe. i put sliced potato in the bottom of the broiler pan, but i don't eat it afterward. it is just too greasy. but you have to put it down there to absorb all of the grease, otherwise your house will fill up with smoke. i made the mistake once of using bread instead because i didn't have a potato, and of course the bread burned and smoked before the chicken started to smoke. it was smokey night. so always keep a potato on hand! also, i keep the backbone and the leftover bones in the freezer to make broth with.