Food and friends are always a great combination. Making this meal together turned a daily chore into something fun and memorable. We will definitely do this again!
Food shopping usually means going alone, rushing into the supermarket, grabbing your groceries and then rushing back home. Not this time! We started with a trip to the local farmers market on Saturday morning where we breathed in the fresh air and took our time. We shopped and chatted while sipping our coffee. We scoped out the fresh fruits and vegetables in season — kale, beets, broccoli, turnips, and eggplants and met the growers. I find that I am so completely appreciative of their efforts that this experience gives me a more meaningful relationship with food.
We were outside on this beautiful sunny day, laughing and joking, listening and learning. We learned the secret to storing fresh ginger (it freezes well). We met the people that made the homemade pasta sauce, and we talked to the guy that made the homemade cheese and jam. Yum! We bought farm fresh eggs and pasture-raised chickens from the farmer that raises them.
The most important lesson I wanted to share with them, though, was to be responsible for what they eat. I brought them to the farmers market because I wanted them to see where their food was coming from and how it was grown and how important that is. We asked lots of questions. Did they use pesticides and herbicides or was it grown organically? What are the chickens and cows and pigs fed. It makes a difference! You are what you eat and all that…
So here we are in my kitchen working along. These women are silly (you will notice the Chicken Dance theme in the video), but focused, and we got the job done.
Everyone agreed that this was far better than shopping and cooking alone. It was creative and cooperative. There were extra sets of hands for prep work and clean up. We put lots of energy and love into this meal and it showed. And of course we created a memory that we will not soon forget.
We had some Curried Pumpkin Soup while we waited for the chickens to finish cooking. This was left over from Halloween the night before. Always happy to share.
My goal is to help build healthy bodies and meaningful relationships one recipe at a time. Here is the recipe if you want to make this meal with your friends!
- 1 pasture-raised chicken 3-4 lbs
- 1 lemon quartered
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large onion cut into chunks
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbs. fresh rosemary leaves or 2 tsp. dried
- root vegetables of your choice onions, turnips, sweet potatoes, gold potatoes, beets, carrots.
- Preheat the oven to 400 deg.
- Rinse chicken inside and out and pat dry with a paper towel. Set in a baking pan or casserole dish.
- Generously sprinkle salt and pepper inside the chicken.
- Squeeze the juice from 2 lemon quarters into the chicken cavity and drop the lemon quarters in.
- Put a few chunks of onion in with the lemon quarters.
- In a small bowl mix 2 tbs. of olive oil with 4 cloves of minced garlic, the juice of 2 lemon quarters, and the rosemary leaves.
- Generously sprinkle salt and pepper on the outside of the chicken.
- Loosen the skin from the breast and legs by running your hand under the skin (careful not to tear it).
- Spoon half of the olive oil mixture under the skin and over the breasts and legs.
- Spoon the other half of the olive oil mixture on the outside of the chicken, spreading with your hands.
- Peel (beets, carrots,and onions) and cut root vegetables into chunks and place in a bowl. Toss with 2 tbs. olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper.
- Spread root vegetable chunks around the chicken.
- Roast uncovered in the oven for 1 1/2 - 2 hours depending on the size of the chicken. Chicken is done when you stab the thigh with a fork and juices run clear. Or a meat thermometer reads 160-165.
- Let sit for 20 minutes before carving. Serve with root vegetables.