Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Lunch: Roast Chicken & Salad

Dinner tonight? Home-roasted chicken and salad.

First up, the salad. Don't tell me you can't make one. I used to think all the additions were the key - load up on cut veggies - but then I realized that a good salad has a balance between leaves and chunks.

What did I add? Celery, carrot, onion, cucolo (some farmer's market cucumber / melon hybrid - basically a sweet cucumber), red pepper, broccoli, arugula, and mustard greens. Topped with blood orange-infused extra virgin olive oil, and white balsamic vinegar. All the vegetables were organic. I purchased the arugula, mustard greens, and cucolo at the farmer's market today. The rest of the vegetables, except for the celery, were from my CSA box. The celery was from the store.

Roughly 3 packed cups of vegetables in this bowl!

Next up, the chicken.

It's been a while since I set off my fire alarm! :)

I had bought a frozen pastured chicken (a broiler / fryer) a few weeks ago at the farmer's market. Yesterday, I put it in my fridge to thaw. Today, I took it, used scissors to cut up one side of the breast bone, and essentially broke it's back to allow it to be butterflied and lay out flat on my pan. (Sorry; it sounds brutal, I know). Then I cut up a nob of good butter, and shoved that under the skin as evenly as possible. I then took some plain extra virgin olive oil, poured it over the skin, and rubbed it in. A generous sprinkling of salt and pepper on both sides followed, then I put it in my oven, breast up. My oven had been set to the "Broiler" option.

Once the skin on top browns to a lovely mahogany color, use some tongs and flip it over for another 10 min or so.

And I forgot to take pictures before I tore into it!

Oh, the carnage!!! Oh, the Huge-Manatee!

Here is a picture of portion sizes. My dinner & lunch for Monday.

Roughly 4 oz each, not counting bones. Or delicious, crispy chicken skin... om nom nom.

I had enough left over to make one more generous portion. The chicken was luscious - flavored from the butter, oil, salt, and pepper. It tastes like chicken! If I have it, I love shoving lemon zest and garlic underneath the skin, too.

The whole chicken cost me about $12 - not much more than buying a pre-roasted chicken at the store, and it was certainly of a higher quality, and tasted much better. And I got 3-4 meals out of it, so an amortized cost of $3-4 per portion of meat. If you are really enterprising, you could take the bones and use them in a stock. I don't have the patience for two dishes tonight, though!!

The rest of my lunch for Monday? A couple of containers of fruit - green grapes, red & golden raspberries, and blueberries. All organic, everything but the grapes were from the farmer's market I attended today.

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