Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chicken: Dutch Oven Style

I've roasted a lot of chickens over the years (probably 1 or 2 per month).  They're simple, delicious and they provide leftovers for the week for salads and lettuce wraps or just cold chicken with a little sea salt.  I also always save the carcass, wrapping it up in the freezer and taking them out when I need to make more homemade stock.  Good stuff!  This time around, though, I thought I would try using the dutch oven method.

Preheat oven to 250 F


1 whole chicken (3-4 lbs)
1 tbsp ghee (coconut oil or rendered animal fat of your choice is fine)
4 cloves of garlic, whole
2 medium onions, loosely chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 sweet potato, cubed
1 tsp dried thyme (fresh thyme if available)
1 tbsp dried rosemary (fresh rosemary if available)
2 good pinches of sea salt

Place dutch oven on stove top and heat ghee (or preferred fat) on medium heat.  Once well hot, place chicken breast side down into fat and sear for roughly 8 minutes.  Use this time to prepare you veggies and add them in as you go.  Once your 8 minutes is up, flip chicken and sear the back another 8 minutes.  Add salt and spices.

Once all veggies are in and searing is complete, cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the oven for 1.5 hours or until you reach an internal temperature of 180 F (legs should be loosened from the cavity and juices running clear).

Once done, remove the chicken and place on a plate/platter.  Using a slotted spoon, remove the veggies and place in a bowl.  You will have a lot of liquid and fat left in the dutch oven, but you don't want this to go to waste.  There is some goodness in there.

Grab a wire mesh strainer and pour liquid through into a bowl.  The fat will rise to the top.  You can do two things with this.  Either save it in a jar for near future use; the fat will solidify and the chicken juices will gel.  I often use this for sauteing veggies when I'm making soups.  Or you can skim the fat off (pouring through a gravy separator works best) and serve the juices with your chicken.  I decided on the former this time.

This method of cooking produces an INCREDIBLY MOIST chicken.  Very flavourful and the veggies were delicious.  I particularly love how soft the sweet potato gets.  So yummy!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Spiced Pork Shoulder

Pork shoulder
I love cooking roasts and stews; foods that are perfect for creating delicious random meals throughout the week.  The smell that permeates the apartment is warming and exciting and I can't wait to dig in when it's done.

Saturday I cooked a pork shoulder, a usual standby in our home.  I usually make it a couple of times per month and it's always delicious.  The spices I use vary from time to time and I never specifically measure them when I cook, part of the reason I find it so difficult to post recipes here.  Well, I decided to write it down this round.  Everything is measured exactly how I made it, so if you get a chance to make it, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Rub that spice on good!
Preheat oven to 250 F

1 3-4 lb bone-in pork shoulder
1 cup red wine or broth of your choice
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 carrots, chopped
5 baby turnips, halved

Ready to go in the oven!

Spice Rub

2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne


Prepare spices and rub over entire pork shoulder and place in a dutch oven.  Slice garlic and loosely chop onions and toss them on top of the pork.  Add 1 cup of red wine or broth, seal the dutch oven with a lid and place in the oven for 2 hrs @ 250 F.

After 2 hours, remove from the oven and add your chopped carrots and halved baby turnips, put the lid back on and place in the oven for another hour.

Add chopped veggies 2 hrs into cooking
Cook until the roast reaches an internal temperature of 190 F or slightly more.  Pork will be super tender and super juicy and super delicious.

Slice pork and serve with stewed veggies.
Super Delicious!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Yummy Chicken Salad

Time flies!!  It doesn't seem that long ago that I posted the Beef Heart Stew recipe, but here we are in the new year already!  It's nice to post again, only if only for a brief moment.

School has been going really well and I'm hoping to have more spontaneous recipe posts like today's recipe in the near future.  I was in the middle of writing an essay on various "fad" diets and decided to take a break and peruse the paleo recipe site, Fastpaleo.  I can't wait to make this, and this and this!  The recipes got me thinking about my own hunger, so I threw this little chicken salad together:

Yummy Chicken Salad

Serves 2

1 cooked boneless skinless chicken breast (leftover chicken works best)
1 small carrot, grated
1 zucchini, grated
2 Tbsp of fresh dill, chopped
1 Tbsp of homemade mayo
1 wedge of lemon or lime
Lettuce of your choice

Chop the chicken into small cubes and set aside in a medium bowl.  Add grated carrot, zucchini, dill, homemade mayo and squeeze of citrus and stir.  Serve in lettuce boats or on top of a salad.  This would also make a nice side accompaniment at breakfast or enjoy on its own.