You wouldn’t be wrong to describe this as just some good old roasted chicken, but that would partly miss the point.
This is chicken that spent it’s entire life outdoors on grass, breathing fresh air and pecking at bugs and dirt. These birds were processed on the same farm that raised them, just about an hour’s drive from here. Jane and Terry want nothing to do with chemicals or cages, and their healthy, happy birds are evidence of that stewardship.
This is God’s food, delicious, nourishing and sustaining. And that is the larger point..
1 very fresh, whole chicken
2 tablespoons pastured butter, melted
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon sweet or smoked paprika
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/4 cup assorted fresh herbs such as sage, thyme and rosemary, coarsely chopped
coarse sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
a squeeze of fresh lemon
Cut the chicken into 8 pieces, rinse with plenty of cold, filtered water and pat dry. Sprinkle liberally with coarse salt, then wrap loosely in butcher paper and refrigerate overnight.
Remove chicken from the refrigerator, wipe away any remaining salt, blot dry and allow to stand 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, herbs and paprika, reduce heat to low and steep for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to handle. Toss the chicken pieces in the herb butter and arrange skin side-up in a heavy skillet (use multiple pans if necessary to prevent crowding). Season lightly with salt and pepper and roast in a 385 degree oven for 20 minutes. Turn chicken pieces over and roast 15 minutes. Turn chicken once more and roast until skin is crisp and juices run clear, about 10 minutes. Allow to rest 5 minutes, then brighten with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Serve with seasonal vegetables, perhaps.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays!