New Kitchen, the Paleo Experiment, & the Best Roast Chicken

 

New

The tiny cook is back and I have a lot to talk about.  First, drum roll please…I have a fabulous new kitchen!  I’d like to thank Ikea for making affordable cabinetry and Home Depot for dealing with my price haggling on my 2 ranges (with 2 warming drawers).  I am so grateful for the new hub of our house.

Old

Old kitchen

What have I been cooking in my new kitchen?  Well, I’m glad you asked because I have been cooking up a storm over the holidays and now I’m ready for a healthy start to the New Year (aren’t we all?)  After hearing so many wonderful things about the Paleo diet, I decided to give it a try for 30 days to cleanse my body of all the wine and cheese I ate over the holidays.  Let me first say that as someone with a foodie heart, I do not plan on sticking with this way of eating for the rest of my life.  For me, this is a way for me to create some new, healthy eating habits and it’s a fun food challenge.  What is Paleo?  To sum it up, eat like the cavemen used to eat: each meal should include a palm size piece of organic protein (pastured and/or grass fed is best), 2 thumb sized knobs of fat (ghee, olive oil, & coconut oil are good), and the rest of your plate should be filled with veggies.  No dairy, no grains of any kind, no legumes.  You can read more details about it here.

I have just finished the first week and so far I feel pretty good.  No withdrawal headaches or crazy cravings.  I haven’t felt that bloated feeling you feel after eating a giant bowl of pasta, but besides that, nothing earth shattering.  The 3rd and 4th weeks I’m supposed to feel “Tiger Blood” – a huge energy boost that is supposed to come along with clear skin.  I’ll keep you posted on that.  For now, here is a list of things I ate for the first week:

Week 1

The first recipe I’d like to highlight is Lemon Roast Chicken, which is incredibly satisfying and cooks fast enough to make it weeknight material.  This recipe is a must-try.

ChickenBefore

Lemon Roast Chicken

This recipe is adapted from Cook’s Country

1 (4-5 pound) whole chicken, backbone removed (save this in your freezer to make stock later), and butterflied (*this can be done the night before)

3 Tablespoons grated zest, plus 1/3 cup juice from 2-3 lemons

(*Note – I used Meyer lemons because that’s what’s growing in my yard, but you can use regular lemons, you just might want to add 1 tsp of sugar to the zest)

Salt and Pepper

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

1 – Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 475 degrees.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels.  Combine lemon zest and 1 tsp salt.  Rub 2 Tablespoons zest mixture under skin of chicken (breasts and legs).  Season chicken with plenty of kosher salt and some pepper and transfer to a small roasting pan or a 9x 13 cake pan.  (If the pan is too big, the liquid will evaporate and burn your pan – trust me, it happened to me).

2 – Whisk broth, water, lemon juice, and remaining zest mixture together and add it to the roasted pan.  (The liquid should just reach skin of thighs.  If it doesn’t, add enough water to reach the skin.)  Roast until skin is golden brown and thigh meat registers 170 to 175 degrees, about 40 minutes.  Transfer to cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes.

3 – Eat the delicious, crispy skin and then carve and enjoy!  A 5 pound chicken feeds my family of 4 for dinner, plus I have plenty of leftovers for sandwiches and chicken salad all week long.

*You can make a light gravy with the juices and some cornstarch, but I find the jus in the pan so flavorful by itself.

Roast

*Another goal for the New Year is to learn to take better pictures for the blog.  Be patient with me.  They are coming.

*Also, I have a Facebook page now, so “Like” me on Facebook if you want to be notified in your news feed anytime I have a new post.  Or you can sign up for e-mail subscription on the right hand side of my homepage.  Thanks for your support and happy cooking and eating!

L’appetito e la salsa piu buona che ci sia. 

“Appetite is the best condiment there is.”

-Italian Proverb

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7 thoughts on “New Kitchen, the Paleo Experiment, & the Best Roast Chicken

  1. Glad to see tiny cook is back. Nothing like a roast chicken to make the house smell wonderful. Great job. Love, Mom

  2. Yes your back! and that Kitchen is Deluxe…We love roasted chicken and like your mom said it makes the house warm and cozy and smells out of this world. Thankyou for shareing this we will try it this week and report your aunt and Uncle George and Anne

  3. Okay and I have to add a quote to your welcomed “Cooking Comeback” Here goes: It’s Funny how Life’s simplest Pleasures, Make you the Happiest!!!!!! Paula Dean

  4. Hiya Tracy we forgot to butterfly the chicken but I always always have w/ Cornish Game Hens as well, what do you think about those? Let me know Hugs to all!

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