Category Archives: Meats

Chuck Eye Round Roast

Rather than spending half the day in the car battling traffic on the way to the shore, we decided to have a stay-cation in the relaxing comfort of home. A day that started by watching bike races on TV, followed by walking slowly around the property, swimming laps in our neighbor’s pool, and cooking from the heart. This day was soothing for the body and soul. The day concluded with a casual dinner that I cooked for my husband and in-laws. Even though this is not a traditional summer meal, it was satisfying and light served with a red leaf lettuce salad (bought locally from the Farmer’s Market) and roasted yellow beans.

 

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Slow Cooker Whole Chicken and Easy Broth

3-4 lb whole chicken, preferably humanely raised and organic
1 large onion, cut in half with skin removed
4 potatoes
1/4 c. white wine (optional)
4 garlic cloves
1 T. each: savory, thyme, rosemary
2 bay leaves
sprinkling of salt, pepper garlic seasoning salt
2 T. butter
1 T. corn starch
sea salt

In a large slow cooker, place whole potatoes, onion, bay leaves, wine, and garlic cloves in bottom and sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic seasoning.  In a separate bowl, combine savory, thyme, and rosemary, rub between fingers to break up the herbs and release their oils.  Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic seasoning on breast side of whole chicken then sprinkle herb mixture onto breast side of chicken.  Place chicken, breast side down, on top of potatoes and onions, into slow cooker.  Now sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic seasoning and herb mixture onto this side of the chicken that is facing up.  Place lid on and cook on high for 3-4 hours.

Remove chicken from slow cooker and place on a cutting board to rest.  Remove onions to separate bowl or plate.  Remove potatoes and garlic cloves along with about 1/2 c. of the liquid that has accumulated at the bottom of the cooker to a bowl and mash with 2 T. butter and a dash of sea salt.

To make a gluten free gravy:  Place 2 c. of liquid from bottom of slow cooker into a medium sauce pan and heat over medium heat.  Add corn starch to 1/4 c. cold water to make a slurry.  Add this slurry to the sauce pan along with 2 T. brown rice flour and 1 tsp sea salt  Whisk in.  Cook until mixture just boils and begins to thicken.  Remove from heat.

Section the chicken however you see fit.  I like to eat the thigh first while my husband likes the breast.  Serve with onion, mashed potatoes smothered in gravy alongside a simple arugula salad.

After dinner, section the chicken pieces, place pieces in a container for the fridge.  We can get about three meals plus chicken broth from one whole chicken, so this is an exceptional cost effective buy.  The remaining bones, skin and chicken bits not worth eating, I place back into the slow cooker with about 6 c. of water to cook on low for 10 hours.  This will make a broth with more depth of flavor than you can find in a box, more than worth the few minutes it takes separate the final broth into jars.  Use a sieve and fill each jar leaving 1 inch of head room.  To prevent the jar from breaking, keep the lid off, put jar and lid into freezer and in a day when the broth is frozen, twist on the cap.

Herb Encrusted Pork Loin

1 pork loin, about 1-2 lbs
1 T. pastured lard or tallow
1 T. sea salt
1 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp dried lemon thyme
1/2 tsp dried summer savory
1/2 tsp dried pineapple sage
1/2 tsp black pepper

Heat an oven safe saute pan over medium-high heat.  Combine sea salt, granulated garlic, pepper, lemon thyme, summer savory, and pineapple sage on a dinner plate.  Mix spices with fingers, rubbing the herbs between your fingers to release oils and to make the mixture more coherent.  Spread this over the plate and then roll pork tenderloin in it to coat.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Add lard to saute pan and let it melt to coat pan.  Once pan is hot, place pork in it to sear.  Let the pork cook, undisturbed for 5-7 minutes until the pork has a  blackish-brown crust.  Turn tenderloin with tongs and let sear on the other side for a couple of minutes, then place pan in preheated oven.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.  The pork, when pressed upon will still be slightly squishy, that is okay, it means the meat will remain juicy once sliced.  Lest rest 5-10 minutes before slicing.

I served this tender pork tenderloin alongside a simple green salad with radish and chives topped with Stacey’s Salad Dressing for a weeknight meal.  This pork makes a nice holiday dish too!

Baby Back Baked Ribs

Rib Rub:
1 T. sea salt
1/2 tsp each: garlic powder, black pepper, chili powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
dash allspice

1 rack of baby back ribs, preferably pastured and/or humanely raised

Rub ribs with rub at least 1 hour prior to cooking or apply to ribs and allow them to sit in the fridge overnight.  Put ribs in roasting pan with about 1/4 c. of water and cover pan with tin foil.  Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 4 hours.  During the last half hour, apply your favorite bbq sauce, return to oven.  After 4 hours is up, remove from oven, apply another coat of bbq sauce, turn oven up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for another 15 minutes to add a caramelized coat of sauce.   Allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes, before slicing.  Slice into sets of three, though, hopefully, they will fall apart easily.  This was a large dinner for two, and they were so good, I am not sure I would had wanted to share.  Serve with summer sides like: Watermelon, Garden Greens with Radish Salad, and Roasted Red Potatoes or Potato Salad.

Juicy Baked Chicken Breast

It seems so simple, bakechickend chicken breast, but if not careful, chicken can end up dry.  This method will allow the chicken to be juicy.  Please pay attention to the cook time and observe the chicken to determine when it is done.  When the chicken feels firm, yet still has a slight give when pressed in the center with your finger, it is done.  Juices will be clear.   If your finger sinks in easily, it is not done.  If your finger feels no give when pressed into the chicken, it is over done.  Cook time will take 14-18 minutes depending on size of breast.  For a chicken breast with the tender attached, this will take 16-18 minutes.  For a smaller breast, it will take 14 minutes to cook.  Once taken from the oven, the chicken will need to rest for 2-5 minutes before slicing.  If they do not rest, the chicken will not be juicy.

Also important is choosing high quality chicken.  Organic or humanely raised will have the best flavor, but will also come from chickens that were treated kindly.  Chickens that are treated kindly have more nutrition.  Organic chicken will also have no antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, or herbicides being ingested due to the food that the chickens are consuming.  They are healthier and happier, meaning you will be healthier and happier when eating them.  For this recipe, you will need:

2-4 organic chicken breasts

A good sprinkling of seasoning salt, we call ours “Salt, Pepper, Garlic” because that is what it contains, and that is all that it contains.  No fillers or funny stuff because I make it myself.  It consists of approximately 75% sea salt, 15% garlic granules, and 10% ground black pepper.

Put a broiler pan or baking sheet in the oven and turn oven to bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  The pan needs to preheat with the oven, so that when the chicken touch the pan, they sizzle and start cooking from the bottom.  Rinse the chicken under cold water and season  both sides liberally with seasoning salt.  When the oven is preheated and pan is hot, remove pan from oven.  Place chicken, equally spaced on pan, the chicken should not be touching.  Bake 14-18 minutes depending on size.  After the timer goes off, test the chicken breast using the method described above.  Let rest 2-5 minutes before slicing.

This basic chicken recipe is excellent for topping salads, serving alongside roasted vegetables, or with a nice sauce like Cilantro-Walnut Pesto.

Chicken Wings

I was shopping at my local natural grocery store the other day.  To my surprise, rather than the slot that is usually filled with plain old chicken breasts, is filled with my favorite football season treat, chicken drumettes.  Chicken breast is great for adding quick protein to any meal, but for real flavor, juiciness, and crisp chicken skin, chicken wings or drumettes are the best.

Even though we have been led to think otherwise, chicken skin is not unhealthy.  Advertising that has been mistaken for fact has led the public to think that scrChicken Wingsumptious chicken skin is unhealthy.  Chicken skin is high in monounsaturated fat, similar fat to olives and avocado, which have both been deemed “good fats” in recent years.  Fats from whole food sources are not the enemy.   Trans fats created in chemical plants are the enemy.  Trans fats are created when hydrogen atoms are forced by high pressure into an unsaturated fatty acid chain.  These extra hydrogens create a fatty acid chain unlike any found in nature, so when consumed, our body is unsure what to do with it.  Yummy fat from chickens, however, is utilized by our body properly.  It can be used for energy to power our cells for basic living functions, to repair damaged cells, provide elasticity to cells, to protect our cells from invaders like toxins and pollutants, and build immunity; the list goes on because all of our cells use fat and need fat to work optimally.

The layer of fat that collects between the outer skin of chicken and the meat is full of wonderful beneficial healthy characteristics.  Often, whole chickens are cooked into broth to obtain this benefit and many cultures have relied on chicken soup when nursing a cold.  Traditional cultures rely on the benefits of the whole animal, as the South American proverb puts it, “Good broth can resurrect the dead.”  The amino acid, cysteine, found in chicken helps to detoxify the body by assisting the body to produce glutathione.  Glutathione is a detoxifier to most organs, including the liver, where it helps with an efficient breakdown of mucous.  The reason grandmothers and great grandmothers cook chicken soup for their sick families is because of the goodness found in the whole chicken, not the chicken breast.  Instead of chicken broth, I will focus on the lovely chicken drumettes I purchased at the store to obtain some of these same health benefits, but in a game day celebratory way.

Now for the good stuff, chicken wings!

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Cover a half sheet pan with parchment paper.

Take 2 lbs of chicken wing/drummettes, rinse and then pat dry with paper towel.

For the seasoning, combine 1 tbsp. salt, ½ tsp. ground black pepper, and ½ tsp. garlic powder and stir to combine.

Take a pinch of seasoning and sprinkle over each chicken wing/drumettes, ensuring to get every side.

Place chicken wing/drummettes on parchment lined sheet pan evenly spaced.  Each piece of chicken needs it’s own room in order to create crispy skin, so do not let them touch.

Bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes.

Let cool slightly before serving, about 10 minutes.

I enjoy these wings right from the pan, but my husband prefers a dipping sauce.  Try serving with hot sauce, pesto, or a homemade buttermilk ranch.