I’ve talked about my serious crush on my butcher before, so I hate to put it out there so shamelessly (I’m a married woman after all)…
you know there’s a BUT coming…so obvious
…BUT this chicken was the BEST I’ve ever tasted. I thought the ribs I’d bought before had my heart a flutter. Well, Ribbies, you ain’t got nothing on this bird. This amazing chicken was allowed to run around, eat grass and bugs and was not injected with a bunch of antibiotics. I could tell this was a happy chicken. It’s in the taste.
I’m sorry vegetarians and vegans, I know being raised to be killed isn’t happy per say, but you can tell it had a much better existence while sharing this earth with us.
Now I know some of you might be thinking…duh! You wrapped it in bacon dummy! Of course it tasted amazing.
Well, yes there’s that, but the difference in the meat is quite outstanding. If you haven’t done the taste test yet, I encourage you to cook one mass produced chicken (or part of, preferably not a tasteless skinless, boneless chicken breast) and one free range organic chicken. Even in it’s raw state it smells better. Have you noticed the smell of bleach (or taste even) on your Lilydale chicken lately? That little chicken takes a chloride bleach “bath.” Its actually not that easy to find chicken at the store that doesn’t take a chlorine bath unless you buy organic. No joke. Sometimes they sit in chlorine for a full day. Hence the smell and taste.
Note that this practice has been banned by the European Union.
Let us know if you could taste the difference.
The other part I LOVE about roasting a whole chicken is being able to make the best tasting bone broth afterwards. The broth can then be frozen and used to make delicious soups later on!
For those of you concerned that eating animal fat, such as bacon fat or chicken fat from that delicious skin, is not healthy, here are a few articles or books you may want to read. Studies are coming out in flocks to disprove the theory.
- A quick little article and a link to Jennifer McLagan’s book, Fat
- 2 posts by Sarah of The Healthy Home Economist and this one on butter
- Eat Fat Lose Fat, by Dr Mary Enig and Sally Fallon
- Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, by Weston A Price
If you know of GOOD books that dispel the theory that fat is bad, I’d love to accumulate more resources, so please share in the comments below!
Oven Roasted Bacon Wrapped Chicken
- 4 lb Free Range Organic Chicken (or whatever size really)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 quarter lemon, preserved, peel only, finely chopped
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried savory
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 lb cipollini onions
- 4 strips of organic bacon
Wash the chicken well, removing the bag of hearts and liver (if it came with them). Dry the bird and put the heart and liver back into the cavity and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Take 2 Tbsp of butter and mix in the lemon, thyme, savory and garlic. If you don’t have any preserved lemon feel free to use 1 Tbsp lemon rind.
Peel the cipollini onions. I found that putting them in a bowl, pouring boiling water over to cover and letting them sit for 3 minutes to be very helpful in removing the peels. Take 2 pieces of bacon and slice into 1 inch pieces. Add the bacon and the onions to a heavy bottom pan. I used my roasting pan to save on dishes later. Cook the onions and bacon for about 8 minutes over medium high heat.
Meanwhile, make small 1/2 inch slits in the skin of the chicken along the back, breast and legs.Using your fingers, spread the herbed butter mixture in between the meat and the skin.
Move the onions out of the way and place the chicken amongst the onions and bacon. Slice the remaining 2 bacon pieces and slice in half. Lay the 4 pieces over the back of the chicken. Add 2 sprigs of rosemary to the pot. Place in the oven, and cook, covered for 1 hour. Remove the cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes or until internal temperature reads 180 F. Allow the bird to rest for 5 -10 minutes before carving.
Note: Cooking time is faster here because I opted to cook the chicken at 400 F for the entire length of time. This seems to be more common in Australia and my preferred method. If you opt for a different cooking temperature, adjust the cooking times accordingly.
P.S. From my table to yours, the cipollini onions make a fantastic spread on caraway toast!
I’m sharing this with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesday, A Little Birdie Told Me, Fat Tuesday, and Traditional Tuesdays, Simple Lives Thursdays, Gluten Free Wednesdays and Pennywise Platter Thursday.