Sunday, April 8, 2012

Slow Roast Chicken, New Potatoes and Vegetables

After much anticipation the launch has passed and now the posts begin. All week long I have pondered my first post. Where do I begin? A nutrition tip? A recipe?

And here we have come to this wonderful Easter dinner of Slow Roast Chicken, New Potatoes and Vegetables. How could I not post this? Chicken so tender it falls off the bones. Yukon gold potatoes so creamy, moist and golden they don't even need butter. The sweet flavor of roasted alliums; onions and heirloom garlic. Sweet carrots and cooked celery add flavor to every bite. While the cherry on top of this aromatic dinner will always remain the savory juices that have developed at the bottom of the pan and are liberally drizzled all over your plate. This gelatinous broth is full of heart healthy oils and fat soluble vitamins. Enjoy without hesitation.

Where to begin with this seemingly extravagant yet ever so simple dinner? First: The chicken. You'll want to find a high quality chicken. Whether you choose a local ranch or your grocery store be sure you're getting free-range and preferably organic. A free-range chicken that is not 'certified organic' may actually be a better choice than a 'certified organic' chicken. Chicken that are free-range are more natural in that they are roaming the farm and chicken coops freely absorbing plenty of Vitamin D from the sun and actively using their muscles. A 'certified organic' chicken could be cooped up all day long but fed a 'certified organic' food. This is where the certification of 'organics' can get complicated as larger companies cheat the system. It's best to research a company and choose one that you trust. You will pay more and every penny will be worth it. Stay tuned for ways to stretch your purchase on a high quality chicken and feel like you are getting your moneys worth.

Next: the potatoes and veggies. Best bet is your local farmer's market where you'll find the latest in season and freshest foods. These New Pink Fingerling, Purple, and Yukon Gold Potatoes from a local farmer in Santa Barbara are my absolute favorite potatoes and I wait every year until the season begins again. Last: the cookware. Always cast iron, enameled and ready for slow roasting. If you don't own a Dutch oven, you should. It will probably be one of those things in the years to come that you will look back on and wish you had just bought when you first thought about it. You will use it not often but ALL THE TIME as you begin to learn the benefits of slow roasting meats and brewing bone broths. 

The Recipe:
1 whole chicken, giblets removed
1-2 large onions
1 head of garlic
2-3 carrots
2-3 stalks of celery
3 large yukon gold
6-8 purple potatoes
6-8 pink fingerling
rosemary twig
sea salt 
Freshly cracked black pepper

1. Rinse the chicken and place in your dutch oven. Pour about a half a cup of water in the pan to get the juices started.
2. Dice celery and carrots. Peel garlic and leave whole. We diced our onion as you can see but afterwards realized that larger chunks would have been preferable.
3. Layer around the chicken. Add potatoes.
4. Rub plenty of freshly cracked sea salt and black pepper, some fresh rosemary twigs and cover with lid.
5. Place in the oven on 275° for 3-4 hours or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 185°. 

I'm wanting to eat all over again. It's never to late for seconds is it?

Happy Easter.

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