Did you know that Chicken, as meat, goes as far back as Babylonian carvings from around 600 BC? It was one of the most common meats available in the Middle Ages (which is probably why it is served at Medieval Times all over the country- which, by the way, I’ve HEARD can accommodate GLUTEN FREE! Now, don’t quote me on this. I’ve only been told by my followers, through research, and by looking at their ingredients, and possible cross-contamination risks, etc.) Now…back to the History of Chicken…Chicken did not become popular in the United States until WWII, due to the shortage of beef and pork. Here is a list of some main parts of the Chicken that are edible. Now, don’t be scared, because the stranger the part, the fuller the flavor!
The Ones We Know…
Now, more about Chicken Hearts and Livers…Firstly, my father use to buy Chicken Livers to use them as bait when he and I would go fishing. That was my only introduction and experience with them. They were raw, and not very appealing…and then my husband and I went to Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s demonstration and Red Rooster Cookbook signing. As a Celiac, and multiple preservative intolerant, when he was taking questions, I asked him if any of his samples would be/are gluten free. Now I’m used to not getting to sample anything, so I was expecting the typical “no,” and handing the delicious smelling sample in my hand to my husband. To my surprise, Chef Samuelsson stopped what he was doing, and said he was going to make me something special…I was shocked! How many people get to have a Food Network, James Beard Award Winning Chef cook a personal meal just for them?! I explained I had Celiac Disease, and he said how rough that was for preparing food (tell me about it!) all while in front of the 50+ other people there watching the demonstration. I was so impressed and grateful, that instead of saying “I’m sorry, I can’t guarantee anything for you, as he continued his demonstration and story, and he made me my own personal, Chef Marcus-Made meal made with Chicken Livers, Hearts, and Lemon Juice. It was DELICIOUS! That was the first time I’d ever eat them both, and honestly had he not made them for me, never would’ve otherwise. Needless to say, I bought his amazing Red Rooster Cookbook. You must check it out! It is full of amazing Ethiopian Recipes. As I’m sure you can all tell from my recipe posts, I love all cuisines, and enjoy an eclectic array of foods. As Celiacs, switching up our menus gives us a sense of normalcy, that we don’t get otherwise. Be sure you check out Red Rooster Cookbook and Chef Marcus! I would love to thank him personally for being so thoughtful, kind, and generous to personally address me, and cooking me something so I could actually enjoy his food. It happens so often that we go to a demonstration or festival and have to watched others enjoy the goodness, and go off of our loved one’s experience and description. Let’s just face it- it’s not as good as the real thing! Chef Marcus really gave this “Gluten Free Wife” a memorable experience, so a huge THANK YOU for being so wonderful and accommodating. P.S. If any of you live in the NY, NY/Harlem area, his Red Rooster Restaurant is located there, so you may be able to enjoy the real thing! If you happen to purchase his Red Rooster Cookbook, email me (email@example.com) the recipe you’d like converted to gluten free, and I’ll be happy to convert it for you!
Now back to the Chicken! Here are the “Health Benefits” of Chicken:
For this recipe, you will be working with a 4-5 lb Whole “Fryer” Chicken, which will comfortably feed a family of 4. I always check Kroger or Sprouts ads for when they’re on sale. About once a month/every other, you’ll find Perdue or Store Brand for around $0.75-$0.80/lb! That gets you a 5.5lb Chicken for about $4.50. If you figure a pre-cooked Publix or Walmart Chicken for $5-$7, you’re only getting a 3lb Chicken for $2-$3 more. I promise it’s worth the time to cook it yourself- to not risk the cross-contamination!
Equipment Needed: Kitchen Twine, Roasting Pan, Meat Thermometer
(For the Inside of the Chicken and Potatoes:)
1 Green Bell Pepper
1 Small-Medium Sweet Onion
1 Large or 2 Small Stalks Celery (depending on length)
3 Large Cloves Garlic Whole
1 Stick Dairy/Lactose Free “Butter”
(For Herb Rub on Chicken)
1 cup Fresh (flat leaf) Italian Parsley
1 cup Fresh Cilantro
4 Cloves Garlic (Minced)
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Adobo
1 tsp Ground Mustard (seasoning)
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
(For Potato Side Dish)
4-5 Medium Idaho/Russet Potatoes
Ground Mustard (seasoning)
1. Remove Chicken from Packaging, remove Giblets and discard (unless you want to save for a gravy/stew/etc.,) Rinse thoroughly, and Pat Dry with paper towels.
2. Place in Roasting Pan (I buy disposable roasting pans, only $1.99-$3, and often BOGO.) Slice “Butter” into thin “PADS” or Squares.
3. Take a butter knife and lightly insert on RIGHT SIDE above neck (careful not to break skin,) under skin, to separate skin from body all along BREAST and WING. Repeat on LEFT SIDE. and LEG. Repeat on LEFT SIDE. 4. Next, insert knife above Cavity, on RIGHT SIDE and work knife into THIGH and LEG. Repeat on LEFT SIDE.
5. Turn Chicken over and REPEAT process on BACK SIDE of Chicken.
6. Then go back and insert “PADS” or Squares of “Butter” into the Area you have just made. What this process does is #1. Make for a Moist Chicken. #2. Make for a Crispy skin.
7. Chop your Pepper, Onions, and Celery. Split all 3 into equal portions. Take 1/2 and stuff into the Cavity of the Chicken with the 3 (Cleaned) Whole Cloves of Garlic. Set aside the Remaining half of Chopped ingredients for side dish later.
8. Take all ingredients for Herb Rub and place in Blender or Food Processor (you may also elect to manually chop, and then mix all together in a bowl.
9. Take a Basting Brush or Spoon and Brush/Spoon ingredients onto Chicken, making sure to get every crevice, Wings, Legs, Underside, etc.
10. Take Kitchen twine, and TIE Wings together, TIE Legs together, and then take those ties and TIE them together. This will make sure that they stay tied tightly as the Chicken begins to cook. (Then re-spread the herb seasoning that moves after tying twine.) 11. Golden rule is 20 mins/lb; however, it may take up to 45 minutes per pound for a stuffed chicken. Be sure to check the internal temperature to make sure it is thoroughly cooked. Temperature should read: 165 degrees **Make sure you baste with its own juices every 30-45 minutes!!! It may take the first hour before you have juices to baste it with.
12. IN THE LAST HOUR OF COOKING TIME Peel 4-5 Medium White Russet/Idaho Potatoes, then cut into quarters (4’s.)
13. Season with Salt, Pepper, Ground Mustard, and Garlic Powder on all sides, mix with remaining chopped Peppers, Onions, and Garlic.
14. Remove Chicken, and place potatoes into Roasting Pan. Increase oven to 400 degrees. Let Chicken REST for 30 minutes while Potatoes Roast in its juices, 15 mins at 400 degrees, flip, reduce back to 350 for last 15 minutes, then enjoy!
**If Chicken needs a little more love, but is already browning, you may cover with aluminum foil (seen above,) while cooking the potatoes, and keep it in with them at 400 degrees, while continuing to check it with your meat thermometer. Keep a close eye on it though, it can dry out quickly!
**If you choose to stuff your chicken with whole vegetables, and use a liquid marinade (My Sofrito Recipe and Mojo Marinade are good examples,) then this will be more than likely be your outcome, than the top of the page. You will get a softer, less crispy skin; however, you will still have an extremely flavorful and moist chicken (seen here is my Mojo Marinade, which explains the hint of green!)