Clementine Roasted Free-Range Chicken

I am slightly obsessed with this cookbook, Jerusalem. Some of the pages are stained from use with various sauces and splatters, a sign of a well-used cookbook . In it I just happened to notice one detail that has literally changed the way I cook free range chicken.

by Yottam Ottolenghi

by Yottam Ottolenghi

 

For the first time in January I cooked a true free range bird we raised here at home on pasture. These birds are large, long-legged, lean and just a little different than the chickens you can buy at the grocery store. Free range birds have more dark meat, making them more flavorful. The legs on our birds are about twice the length of a grocery store bird, but the breasts are smaller.  Contrast that to a typical bird sold in American grocery stores, raised in a warehouse that is pumped with antibiotics, growth hormones, and  grain, so that they grow super fast with zero exercise. This results in near-non-existent leg muscles, more fat, and large breasts. They usually cannot hold heir own weight up on their weak little legs. It’s a sad situation…and a good reason to avoid brands like Tyson and Purdue and support your local farmers. I personally love Savannah River Farms and know they raise birds, but I think more options are showing up at the Forsyth Farmers market every year, too.

I thought I could cook our free range chicken just like any old chicken and decided to roast it in the oven with olive oil, fresh herbs,  root vegetables and salt and pepper. No problem, right?

Well, the chicken came out dry on the outside, tough, and partially raw on the inside.

What did I do wrong?

According to Yottam Ottolenghi, cooking the chicken whole was my first mistake. In his cookbook, he cuts up the chicken and lets it roast in in some sort of delicious marinade and makes a grain side dish cooked in the juices.

I decided try that, cut up the chicken (after watching this Youtube video on how to cut up a whole chicken because I have never actually done that before) and out came this incredibly flavorful, tender, chicken.

Another perk is the roasting takes 35- 45 minutes, so you can make this recipe any night of the week if you prep the marinade the day before.

We have 27 new chicks as of March 9th, a mix of different breeds for egg-laying and meat,and I have been enjoying watching them go from little puffballs to doubling in size in about a week.

 

Meet Mr. Popper, based on the book Mr. Popper’s penguins. Can you tell why!?

 

Mr. Popper

Mr. Popper

 

 

Clementine Roasted Free Range Chicken

Serves 3
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Serve Hot
From book Jerusalem
Try this Clementine Roasted Chicken for an easy and flavorful weeknight meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 free range chicken (quartered, skin on)
  • 3 clementines (sliced thinly short-wise)
  • 1 onion chopped into thin rings or slices
  • 3 teaspoons fennel seeds (crushed)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 pink grapefruit, juiced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons grain mustard
  • 2 cups basmati rice (cooked)

Directions

Step 1
Combine the grapefruit and lemon juice, olive oil, wine , mustard and fennel in a large bowl and mix with a whisk.
Step 2
Place the chicken in a deep roasting pan and coat the chicken with the marinade. Pour all of the marinade over the chicken.
Step 3
Place the onions around the chicken and the sliced clementines on top of the chicken and in the pan.
Step 4
Cover the pan tightly and let it sit in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight to marinate the chicken.
Step 5
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper .
Step 6
Roast at 475 degrees uncovered for 35-45 minutes. It will get pretty dark and have crispy skin.
Step 7
Serve with basmati rice . This is delicious with sliced cucumbers and yogurt and fresh tomatoes on the side.

In love and light,

Lydia

 

Spiralized Rosemary Beet Salad

Hi there friends! I spent my wondrous President’s Day off a couple weeks ago scheduling some blog posts, having lunch with an old friend and her new baby, drinking hot tea in my pajamas while roasting a fresh chicken that we raised right here at home.

Life can’t get much better than that right? I even had a slice of cake later to top it all off!

I wanted to pop in and share this because I truly cannot get enough of my new spiralizer:  zucchini, beets, yellow squash, cucumbers…ALL of these veggies become infinitely more exciting when spiralized.

Spiralizer

Spiralizer

My personal favorite , though, is spiralizing slightly cooked beets.

beet noodles

beet noodles

I have used spiralized beets in replacement of pastas in spaghetti with excellent results, but also made some really fresh salads.

I believe you can buy them on Amazon HERE. This particular one has 3 different blades and I love it.

Happy spiralizing!

Spiralized Rosemary Beet Salad

Serves 3
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Salad, Side Dish
Misc Serve Cold, Serve Hot
This spiralized rosemary beet salad is the perfect winter side dish.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sized organic beets
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary-minced finely
  • 6oz soft goat cheese (crumbled)
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons grated onion or shallot
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Note

Serve this salad warm or cold!

Directions

Step 1
Clean beets and boil them for about 15-20 minutes in saucepan covered with water. Drain and peel them while warm with your fingers. Spiralize the beets and place in a salad bowl.
Step 2
Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt, rosemary and onion in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer 2 minutes.
Step 3
Drizzle the warm dressing over the spiralized beets and sprinkle with goat cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Charleston & Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

My sister, Emily,  lives in Charleston now! While we were there for the Charleston Marathon back in January we drank mimosas, ate giant cinnamon rolls the size of my head from Wild Flour Pastry , and ate dinner at this delicious and highly-hip Vietnamese restaurant called Xia Bao Biscuit . Also, the Butcher & Bee might have been my favorite lunch spot so far this year. Please do yourself a huge favor and check these places out the next time you are in Charleston! Obviously I was more concerned with taking pictures of food than people while in Charleston, hence the dearth of actual photos from the race or photos of my sister, who is actually quite beautiful.

cinnamon roll

cinnamon roll pictured on a normal-sized dinner plate

I thought you should know my goal for 2015 is to blog more, as well as  post my eats on Instagram more often. I have been missing this space lately. This is a lofty goal because I am at heart a slow-it-down, turn- off -technology type of person on the evenings and weekends due to  sitting at a desk all day at work.  The best way for me personally to manage stress levels and happiness is UNLPUG,  watch the fish tank for a while,  or sit outside and take in nature and relax .  Speaking of fish tanks, this is the newest 90 gallon addition that Larsen setup this weekend. We will add some big fish in a few weeks.

aquarium

 

But back to the  food! This is a  recipe I shared at a recipe-swapping/Thirty-One party recently . I call these pumpkin dinner rolls. I pair them with salty country ham or sausage, but you can eat them plain,with butter, honey or jam too for any Holiday occasion or just for a Sunday morning brunch.

pumpkin rolls

Let’s clear several bread-making myths out of the way right now.

Bread making does not have to be scary, difficult or time-consuming. All you need to do is make sure your yeast is alive and working properly and utilize a mixer with a dough hook.  The dough hook has been the only reason I started making bread because , honestly, you don’t want to see me in the kitchen with just flour and a ball of dough . It’s scary…-little poofs of flour end up in the weirdest places in my house. Sometimes I even leave flour hand prints on my butt and go to the grocery store like that…

So, for me the dough hook is  a magical and essential piece of equipment because it takes out the whole kneading-by-hand process.

I hope you enjoy these rolls and just so you know, I consider these a treat, not a daily part of healthy diet.

I am obviously an advocate for eating as much whole, unprocessed food as possible about 90% of the time . White flour and sugar are definitely treats in my book.

As I mentioned before, my new year’s resolution is to post more here as well as post healthy daily eats over on my instagram page: LYDIA2BLUEEGGS

 

Toodles!
Lydia

Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Prep time 3 hours
Cook time 22 minutes
Total time 3 hours, 22 minutes
Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type Appetizer, Bread, Side Dish
Misc Freezable, Serve Hot
Buttery pumpkin rolls for your next dinner party!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 16oz canned pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 2/3 cups brown or turbinado sugar
  • 1 packet fast-rise yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 5.5 cups bread flour

Note

You can  test your yeast by sprinkling a bit into warm water (approx 110 degrees). Leave it for about 10 minutes and come back. If the yeast has not bloomed, you know the yeast is either bad or your water is too hot or cold. If it has bloomed and expanded, you should be good to go to proceed with your recipe.

Remember, hot liquid will kill yeast, so do test the temperature of your liquid if you can. Around 110 degrees is perfect. If you have no thermometer, the liquid should just be warm to the touch on your wrist, not hot.

Directions

Step 1
Combine warm milk(warmed to temp advised on yeast packet of 110 degrees), yeast, pumpkin, flour, 1 egg, sugar and salt in bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached. Quickly mix all ingredients just to combine with a wooden spoon.
Step 2
Knead the mixture with the dough hook on medium speed for at least 5-7 minutes. Keep in mind this will be a somewhat sticky dough. It will still look stickier than normal bread roll dough.
Step 3
Turn out mixture to a clean, greased metal bowl . Cover with plastic wrap tightly, and store in a warm place for 1.5 hours.
Step 4
The dough should be at least double in size at this point as pictured. Grease two metal pie pans. Punch the dough down and roll 15 balls with your hands, placing each ball of dough touching or nearly touching side by side in the pans. Cover for 1.5 more hours.They should rise and all be smashed together.
Step 5
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake your rolls about 22 minutes. Drizzle with the 4 tablespoons of melted butter a few minutes after baking.
Step 6
Serve sliced with country ham or sausage for sandwiches.