Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hickory Roasted Chicken Dinner

One of my co-workers raised free-range chickens all summer and I knew I wouldn't be able to resist buying one.  I picked up my 10 pound fresh chicken on Friday and finally got around to roasting it tonight. I had plans to slow cook it on the BBQ, but the weather didn't want to cooperate so the oven had to do.  I used Lysander's brand Hickory Rub for a seasoning and tossed some vidalia onions in for extra flavor and a yummy stock.  It was sooo flavorful and one of the best meals I have cooked in a while.  I served the chicken with broccoli, turnips, and roasted sweet potato (with cinnamon) and it was healthy yet satisfying.

Roasting your own chicken is great because you can usually get a better price per pound and you are left with a great chicken stock that you can use for chicken soup or casseroles!
Hint: To cut down on the amount of fat in the stock... let the remaining juices cool in the fridge overnight and skim the top layer of fat off in the morning and dispose of it.

The basics of roasting a chicken...
Aim to cook it for 20-25 minutes per pound at 350 degrees.
Get creative with your seasonings!
Try: Garlic and herb
        Cajun Spices
        Cumin, paprika, garlic, cilantro
        Hickory or Smoked Flavor
        Lemon Pepper

Cook it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.  If you don't have a thermometer, cut into the chicken to assure there are no pink spots (the chicken juice should run clear and the legs should come off pretty easily)

It's best to cook the chicken with the skin on so it stays moist... but that doesn't need you need to eat it.  Save 160 more calories and 13 more g of fat when you avoid the skin of a 3 oz piece of chicken!

Balance your Meal: Aim for 1/4 of your plate to be a starch (roasted sweet potato, white potato, tortilla rice, pasta), 1/4 to be protein and 1/2 to be veggies!  Start with a side salad to fill you up!


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