I made my first whole chicken recently and it was SO GOOD. I was always overwhelmed by the thought of it but turns out it is so easy to make! I was at my friend Bentley’s house and she was making one for her family, and I got inspired so I went to the store and got one I needed then headed home and got to it. The thing I love about this is that there is so much freedom because you can cook it with whatever fruits or vegetables you like, so you can taylor it to your mood or to who you are cooking for.* Quantities are also very flexible which is nice, so I didn’t keep track of how much of everything I added. Here’s what I did.
5-6 pound whole free range chicken (I got mine from Trader Joe’s)**
3-4 Kerrygold Irish butter***
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove the giblets from inside the chicken, then thoroughly rinse the inside and outside of the chicken. Dry with paper towels and place in baking pan.
2. You can use as much or as little butter as you like. I used 3-4 tablespoons. Melt half of the butter and pour over top of chicken (helps to brown and crisp the skin).
3. Cut the carrots, sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, onion, and garlic and place in a bowl. Melt the other half of the butter and pour over vegetables. Toss vegetables in butter so they are evenly coated. Place the vegetables around the chicken.
4. Cut the lemon and squeeze juice over the chicken and vegetables, then place the lemon in the pan.
5. Add some salt, pepper and rosemary to the chicken and vegetables and pop in the oven for about an hour and a half.
Would be delicious on it’s own or served with salad, brown rice, quinoa, or some rustic bread (Healthiest bread options according to Hungry for Change include sprouted, pumpernickel, or organic sourdough bread).
*Herb options: thyme, sage, basil, cilantro, parsley or a combination.
Fruit and vegetable options: red potatoes, russet potatoes, yams, oranges, limes, apples, pumpkin, butternut squash, mushrooms, celery.
** Here’s why I stick to Organic Free Range
***Butter often gets a bad wrap, however, good fats are very important in one’s diet. While it is often thought that fat makes people fat, it is actually true that sugar makes people fat (and there is sugar hidden in EVERYTHING, READ LABELS!) According to the book Hungry for Change, good fats are essential for hormone production and nutrient absorption. Other good fats they suggest include organic dairy, eggs, grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, macadamia nuts, avocados (I eat these almost every day), and extra virgin olive oil.
I use butter because it is a stable saturated fat, meaning that it can endure high temperatures. Many oils, such as olive oil become toxic to the body when they are exposed to high temperatures (olive oil is beneficial to one’s diet when not heated, like in a salad dressing). Other options for high heat are coconut oil (which I use all the time to saute and bake!) and ghee (which I have never used before). I like Kerrygold butter for many reasons. The cows are grass fed, meaning that their diet consists of mostly grass and some wheat and barley, which is better for the cows, better for us, and better for the environment. It is better for the cows because grass is their most natural diet and is the easiest thing for them to digest. It is better for us because grass-fed cows produce milk high in beta-carotene and unsaturated fatty-acids (Omega 3 & 6). It is better for the environment because there is less of a reliance on food supplements, meaning that energy is saved by not having to produce and transport those supplements for the cows. There are no antibiotics, pesticides, BST (a protein hormone) or growth hormones in Kerrygold products, which differs from most other brands of butter. I usually buy Kerrygold butter from Trader Joe’s but Costco just started carrying it too, which I am so excited about!! You can find out where it’s available on their website.