Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Organic Real Food on a Budget

While eating organic Real Foods has such a positive impact on your health, it can create a strain on your food budget.  This weekend organic whole chickens were on sale at Whole Foods, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to demonstrate how many decadently healthy meals for 2 you can make out of a 3 pound bird.  I stocked up and bought 6 whole chickens so each time I roast a chicken I'll post what I've created with it.

Today I'm starting with instructions for coating and roasting a whole chicken with winter veggies that will become dinner tonight and other meals throughout the week!

As I mentioned earlier this is an organic, whole chicken.  You probably know that toxins are stored in fat, so I always wash my chicken in pH 9.5 ionized water, pat them dry and remove any fat I can find.  I also separate the skin from the flesh of the chicken so I can season the chicken but allow the skin to remain during roasting to keep it moist.

Roasted Lemon Chicken with Winter Veggies
I actually made this dish several years ago and I thought my dog, Murphy, was going to lose it!  The aroma, the flavor profile and the quick prep time makes this a go to dish for a dinner party or a casual weeknight dinner.  Since the chicken and the veggies are all cooked together, a fresh salad is all that’s needed to complete this meal!
Serves 6

3 pound whole chicken
8 cups braising greens*
4 stalks celery
3 cups carrots in 2 inch pieces
1 whole red or yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced fennel 
2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
3 cups quartered small potatoes
2 cups chicken stock
3 lemons
2 tablespoons Herb Infused Olive Oil
3 sprigs each, rosemary, thyme, parsley and sage
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Wash the chicken thoroughly with pH 9.5 water inside and out.  Pat dry thoroughly.

Slice 1 1/2 lemons into ¼ inch slices and set aside.  In a small bowl add the zest and juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and 2 teaspoons each finely chopped rosemary, thyme, parsley and sage.  Add oil, whisking until well emulsified.

Coat chicken thoroughly under the skin, inside the cavity and on the skin.  Place half a lemon, a few pieces of celery, a few slices of onion, a piece of each of the herbs inside the cavity.

Into a large covered casserole place the greens, lemon slices, veggies, remaining herbs, salt, pepper and chicken stock.  Place prepared chicken on top, cover and roast 1 hour at 325 degrees.  Remove lid, increase temperature to 375 and continue roasting until juices run clear and skin has browned.  Remove from oven, cover and allow chicken to rest for 15 minutes before cutting.

Transfer chicken to a cutting board.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer veggies and lemon slices to a serving platter.  Carve chicken into 3-4 ounce serving pieces and add to serving platter.  Heat juices until slightly thickened, adjusting seasoning if necessary, pour into a serving bowl.

If you’ve never eaten roasted lemons you are in for a real treat!  The rind has a very slight bitter taste and the flesh becomes a combination of sour and savory . . . yum!

Here are a few photos to demonstrate how I prepped the chicken:

Sometimes winter dishes can seem a little heavy, while this one is hearty, the lemon adds bright notes and the braising greens add a fresh, light flavor.  

Dr. P

I've already received several questions about braising greens, so I decided to amend my post to explain them. I get them at Whole Foods in a bulk bin. It's a mix of young hearty winter greens like kale, Swiss Chard, radicchio, collards and mustard greens. The mix changes slightly throughout the seasons, but is always in a bulk bin. You could make your own mix, the secret is to have at least 3 different types that are larger than the "baby" greens but only about 3-5 inches tall. If you can't find them, simply cut full sized leaves into pieces. They will need to roast about 20 minutes longer to achieve the same "melted" result, so start the veggies, covered, ahead of time, then add the chicken after 20 minutes.

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