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animals are delicious

I will start keeping food posts separate so I don’t have to lock them away. Perhaps one day I will perform the messy job of separating and unlocking that content from my old posts… but don’t count on it anytime soon.

One good thing about trying to buy organic meat is that I tend to buy less of it (because it costs as much as my house) and hence, we eat less meat. I think that’s good. I’ve cut down our red meat consumption and I generally limit myself to one 3-ounce serving of meat a day. Fish is another story. I could eat a 140-pound tuna in one sitting, raw.

crock pot roast beef with veggies

At the store the other day, we stood in line at the meat counter to get a whole chicken. There was the organic chicken at $2.59 a pound and then there was the conventional chicken on sale for $.59 a pound. I turned to Jeremy and said in a low voice that I was having issues weighing organic, healthy, expensive versus conventional, gross, and cheap.

jeremy: why?
me: because i’m also trying to keep our expenses down
jeremy: don’t worry, get the organic bird
me: you sure?
jeremy: yes. we can be labeled elitists by the conservative right because we want food that is free of poisons

Conventional makes me nervous because the flavor, the texture, and most of all the fat, is so inferior to organic. Not to mention issues of sustainability, treatment, and hormone/antibiotic injections. It is a shame that you have to have money to afford wholesome food. (Another reason why the poor are screwed – poor diet, poor health, lousy healthcare…)

I don’t often roast a whole chicken because it is a lot of bird and we use ALL of it. But it’s fun and roasting is perfect in winter on a cloudy day when the passive solar is non-existent and you want to warm up the house. I started by removing the neck and gizzards – saving them out to make broth later with the carcass.

this must be good training to become an ob/gyn

In the past I’ve tried salt and pepper only, but this time I added some lemon zest and minced garlic to the seasonings for a subtle kick.

smelled so good

I mixed the seasonings together and rubbed them all over the chicken. Then I gently separated the skin from the breast with my hand and rubbed the seasoning under the skin.

put half of the zested lemon into the bird cavity

The whole ensemble is set upon a rack on a plate and placed uncovered in the refrigerator. I let it sit for 4 hours (the minimum), but you can let it sit for up to 24 hours. Next the bird sat at room temperature for about 45 minutes. Meanwhile I heated the oven to 425F (I set mine to 440F because of elevation), I trussed the bird, and brushed the bird with 2 tablespoons of melted, unsalted butter. I chopped up six yukon gold potatoes, tossed them with salt, pepper, and olive oil, and dumped them into a large baking dish. I didn’t use the roasting pans because they are too big and the drippings tend to burn on the base, but I did use the roasting rack and set the bird, breast-side up, on the rack and then placed the rack over the potatoes. The whole mess roasted for 40 minutes when I flipped the bird over with tongs, and then roasted for another 20 (30 for my elevation).

let the bird rest for 5 minutes and check thigh temp for 165-170F

rounded out with spinach and cara cara orange slices

Tomorrow I’ll strip the rest of the meat from the bird and then make broth with the carcass and those extra parts I extracted. Leftovers are great in salads or in tortillas with some cheddar and salsa.

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