Recipe: Roasted Chicken Times Three

  • October 16, 2011 9:59 am

Hi there!  Glenny here with another post from my kitchen.

As I mentioned before, I plan on visiting Fleisher’s new shop in Park Slope as often as possible.  I certainly do not eat too much meat, but am very happy to indulge in the very good, well-raised stuff when I can.  This past week I stopped by for a whole chicken.  Roasting a chicken is extremely easy, and a great way to make a few meals in one evening.  You’re saving energy by only using your oven once, and you’re exercising some creativity in the kitchen – what to do with the leftovers?  Here is what I did, complete with a basic recipe for your autumnal roast chicken:

Roasted Chicken with Apples and Sage

3-4 lb whole chicken

4 apples, quartered and deseeded (I used Golden Delicious, but almost all will do)

1 apple, chopped into 1 inch cubes

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons chopped sage

2 tablespoons thyme

1 cup white wine (I used a full bodied chardonnay, but a pick your favorite – you’ll be drinking the rest!)

salt and pepper

Prep your chicken.  Season with salt and pepper and put in a roasting pan.  Spread quartered apples around the outside and sprinkle them with half of your herbs.  Mix the chopped apples with a little butter, salt and pepper and stuff in the cavity of the chicken.  Mix the remaining herbs and butter together and spread it both under and on top of the chicken skin.  Pour the wine around the bird, over your apples.

In a 425F oven, cook for 30 minutes, and then reduce temperature to 375F.  Continue cooking for about 40 minutes more or until a thermometer reads 160F and the juices run clear (opposed to red).  Let it sit for about 15 minutes before carving.  Serve with the roasted apples and their juices.

Delicious!  After enjoying this one evening, I still had a lot of chicken left and wasn’t too interested in having the same meal two nights in a row.  So, for lunch the next day it was roasted chicken sandwiches with feta, olives, and market tomatoes.  Followed by a wonderful soup for dinner.  I simply sauteed garlic, onions, carrots and butternut squash in a deep sauce pan.  Added chicken stock, tomatoes, kale, a few cups of farro and the leftover chicken.  Drizzled with homemade pesto, it celebrates lots of flavors; perfect for an October evening.  And the best news?  I’ll be eating that soup for days – this chicken has provided for many many meals.  Easy.

Farro soup, day two.

When Greening Your Kitchen, Don’t Forget To Look Beyond Food

  • March 8, 2011 11:19 am

So you know the very person who planted, watered, and picked your tomato. And maybe you even visited the farm where your steer roamed before it became your steak. You’ve figured out the ratio of certified organic to local in your weekly shopping ritual. You’ve got this whole sustainable thing down pat and you can now stop thinking about it already. Right?

Not so fast.

Sourcing food well is both crucial and tasty. But what are you prepping on, cooking in, storing in? There are hidden things lurking in most kitchens beyond roaches that aren’t safe for you or your dinner guests—some are even the very chemicals you avoid by buying organic. And most can—and should—be easily avoided.

Let’s say you drop extra cash for an organic chicken, or maybe a local pastured one. That chicken is all kinds of things, including not decontaminated with chlorine bleach. But if you prep it on a surface you happen to clean with chlorine bleach, you’re re-contaminating your carefully sourced bird with the very residue you hoped to avoid by buying it in the first place. Changing all of your cleaning products to natural versions today is a great way to avoid these residues, plus reduce air pollution in your home and outside. Win win win. It’s empowering to know that the small choices we make at home can have such far-reaching impact.

In Planet Home, the new book I co-authored with Jeffrey Hollender, we discuss a study that shows that in cities including Los Angeles, Denver, and Baltimore, household products such as cleaners, personal care products, paints and stains are the largest source of pollutants after cars.

If you’re at the grocery store and want a natural cleaning product, check to make sure the product you’re considering has an ingredient label. Most conventional cleaning products won’t have a label; cleaning product formulas are government protected trade secrets for now. If you see one, the company making it has gone above and beyond and offered customers this information. Still, there are warning labels even on products that don’t list ingredients. Look for these and really consider what they mean. If you see a skull and cross bones, avoid!

So now you’ve prepped that chicken on a board washed in plant-based dish soap, or maybe a cleaner containing hydrogen peroxide. Browning the poultry in a non-stick pan will undermine these good choices. As I discuss in The Conscious Kitchen, until recently most non-stick cookware was made with a chemical that has been linked to cancer, infertility, and complications during pregnancy. This chemical—perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA—is so persistent it has been found in low levels in the blood of 98 percent of the general U.S. population. In 2005, DuPont settled with the EPA for $16.5 million for allegedly withholding PFOA health risk information. The EPA called on them and six other chemical companies to voluntarily eliminate PFOA and similar substances from plant emissions and products by 2015. In the kitchen, we’re exposed to it mainly through scratched pans, and these things scratch easily. They can also break down at high temperatures and the fumes can cause flu like symptoms in humans, and death in birds. Hello, canary in the coalmine.

There are new chemicals now being used to produce non-stick cookware as this phases out. The replacements are largely unknown, so their safety is also unknown. The safest thing to do is brown that bird – and cook everything else – in tried and true durable materials: cast iron, enamel coated cast iron, and stainless steel.

If you make too much pastured chicken stew in your cast iron dutch oven, make sure to store the leftovers in similarly safe materials: glass, stainless steel (unless you stewed it with tomatoes—the acid can cause the metals to leach), or lead-free ceramic. The environmental health community has done a good job of letting people know about the dangers of certain plastics and the various you-don’t-want-it-for-dinner chemicals they might contain (bisphenol-A and phthalates come quickly to mind). Plastic is actually fairly easily avoided in the kitchen, especially when it comes to food storage containers. Tuck food into glass containers you buy specifically for the task, or just put it in jelly jars. Just leave room for liquids to expand if you’re freezing leftovers. If you’d like to use plastic, the numbers currently considered safe by the scientific community are #2, #4, and #5. Look for these in the recycling arrow on the product. If you don’t see a number, call up the manufacturer and ask what it is. Treat plastic gently; the more you bang it up, the more likely it is to leach its chemical components into our food. And never put plastic in the microwave, even #2, #4, or #5, or even if it says “microwave safe.” That just means how much heat it can withstand, not that it won’t release its chemicals into your meal.

There are many other things to be considered for your health and the health of the planet in any conscious kitchen, but these are some of the biggies. It can be overwhelming to take into account this much when you just want to eat dinner. But it’s worthwhile, and before too long it becomes second nature. You don’t have to do it all at once, either. Making one change – switch your cleaners or toss your non-stick pans – is a step in the right direction.

The Conscious Kitchen in The Toronto Star

  • January 16, 2011 5:28 pm

Thanks to The Toronto Star for mentioning The Conscious Kitchen in this article on how to handle food waste.

“Whether we eat at restaurants, in work or school cafeterias or at home, we should reduce waste (the first R in the reduce, reuse, recycle mantra).

‘When standing in front of your garbage, the choice shouldn’t only be recycle or throw away,’ writes U.S. author Alexandra Zissu in The Conscious Kitchen. ‘There’s no such thing as `away.’ It’s just elsewhere.’

So learn to love your leftovers.”

Agreed! And compost everything else!