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No surprises here

I made nearly the same thing as Heather last night.  Oven roasted chicken with lemon, artichokes & capers (see recipe below), arugula salad, and an indulgence (which I will discuss later). And, just as heather’s chicken carcass is boiling away to make soup, mine is doing the same.  🙂  Not sure yet if it’s going to turn into hot & sour soup again, italian wedding soup (assuming I have time to whip up some GF meatballs), or “clean out the fridge soup” which will have balela and bora’s chicken in it.  I need a better name for “clean out the fridge soup”.  Any suggestions?

Okay, here’s what I made last night…

Best Ever Roast Chicken

A recipe inspired by Traci des Jardins (Here is the original – mine is greatly simplified).  I had never had success with roasting chickens until this recipe.  The high temperature and short cooking time really add up to simple success.  You can experiment with herbs – I’ve tried everything from basil to pimenton, jerk seasoning to za’atar.  All delicious.  When I’m in the mood for simple & easy, however, this is what I do:

  • 1 organic, free range, air-chilled (if possible) chicken
  • 1 large lemon, holes poked into it all over with a fork
  • Salt & pepper
  • Roastable veggies of your choice (I used one bag of TJ’s frozen artichoke hearts and 3T capers.  I’ve done parsnips, carrots, brussels sprouts, cauliflower – all delicious).

Preheat oven to 450°.  Liberally (and I mean liberally) salt entire chicken inside & out.

Zest half of the lemon, then put the entire tortured lemon inside cavity.

Place chicken in 9×13 roasting pan breast side down.  Pepper top of chicken and sprinkle lemon zest on top.

Spread veggies around chicken in pan.

Roast at 450 for approximately 60 minutes until internal temperature is 165°. When the chicken is done, all of the juices coming from the cavity should be clear. Remove the lemon from the cavity and squeeze the juice over the chicken.

Sorry I forgot a before photo to show you how pretty they come out, but here is the after.  If you’re thinking to yourself “weird – those lemons look pink” it’s because we used one from our front yard that produces pink flesh.  Who bucks trends?  This girl’s lemon tree!

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So, I mentioned a little indulgence.  I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a thing for tater tots.  I have, in the past, been mocked for this love and had my crunchy little potato friends dismissed as “white trash”, but I will not be deterred in my adoration and appreciation of the tater tot.  They might not be the healthiest thing in the world, but sometimes, you just have to indulge a little. I like my tots extra crunchy (and my life extra simplified), so I tossed them in the oven (no extra oil – on parchment paper on a cookie sheet) at the same time as the chicken.  Voila!  Crunchy little nuggets of potato happiness.  Maybe if I called them that instead of “tater tots” my closed-minded friends would open their hearts to them.

Behold:  Crunchy Nuggets of Potato Happiness

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ps- The trader joe’s bag said they were gluten-free.  We’ll know in a day or two if my face breaks out in an angry rash that will take 6 weeks to clear up.  (Celiac disease is SO much fun!).  I’ve been eating (or not eating when I couldn’t guarantee my safety) pretty cleanly lately, so these babies would be the prime suspect if I get the rash.  I’ll keep you posted.

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