Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Girl Has A Nice Rack! RECIPE

Image via Google Images

I don't know about you, but I like my ladies with a nice rack.

Image via Google Images
I thought this was rather suiting! 

...Because what better way to eat a hen, right?!

AHEM. All jokes aside, I really do have a great recipe in store for you Clean Eaters today!

My grandmother lives off the "holy trinity" of vegetables, as she calls them: onion, celery, and bell pepper. She says you can't go wrong with them, and they make everything taste better. She uses them in most of her dishes, as a base!

Anyways, she told me that sometimes when she roasts a chicken (or, excuse me, a nice lady hen), she creates a "RACK" under the chicken, to kind of hold it up off the bottom and add flavor. And guess what this rack is made of? Celery and onion!

I took her word for it, and tried it out. And what do you know, grandma was right (of course)!

Most people would throw out the rack after cooking, but I went ahead and ate it because I am a veggie monster. Plus it was super tasty with all the yummy chicken fats cooked into it.

Nice RACK Chicken! (AKA Oven Roasted Rosemary Hen)

1 hen/chicken, preferably free range. Giblets removed (I used about 4.5lbs)
2 stalks celery
1 large onion
5 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 small 5oz can tomato paste, unsalted
TSP black pepper
TSP cinnamon 
1/2 TBSP cumin
1/2 TBSP chile powder
TBSP Herb de Province
Sea salt to taste

1) Chop your celery into logs. I diced my onion, but you could also chunk it or sliver it. Use about half the onion lining the bottom and reserve the rest for later.

Line the bottom of a dutch oven with the celery and onion.

2) Pick and wash your rosemary (or if it is store bought, just wash it.) I am happy that this crazy Texas weather hasn't killed my rosemary plant.

3) I deskin my chicken. I know this may sound horrific to those brought up to preserve this precious stuff, but I don't trust it! I know the health benefits of the saturated fats, that is not why I get rid of it. I get rid of it because I don't for sure KNOW how this chicken was raised or handled. Toxins are stored in the chicken fat/skin, so I want to be safe, though I get "free range" at the store. 

After deskinning it, I coat both sides with the spices. I flip in over so the breasts are facing up for cooking.

4) Use the other half of your onion to stuff the cavity. Also, stuff the cavity with some rosemary sprigs, and tuck the other springs under the wings and legs.

5) Similar to my Sweet Italian Crockpot Chicken...Use the tomato paste to coat the top of your chicken! I also sprinkle a bit more cinnamon and black pepper on the top after coating. 

6) Place in the oven and cook uncovered, at 400, for about 20-30 minutes. Cover the dutch oven and continue to cook at 350 for another 45 minutes, or until fully cooked. 

Sorry for all the puns in this post! But I think it was worth it for this recipe... because it is punlicious. RACKdiculous. I'll stop now.

Do you have any traditional ways to cook a chicken?
How do you like your ladies (ahem, hens)?


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