Dutch-Oven Chicken with Green Bean & Blood Orange Salad

I have not been on top of blogging, but I assure you I have been on top of cooking.  Yesterday was a day full of events!  I woke up early to workout, then I began the preparations for my dutch-oven chicken.  I have never made a chicken this way before and I have been missing out.  Let me first say that whole chickens are amazing…so easy to prepare, so versatile, and can feed you for days!  My familiar ways of preparing them has been via slowcooker or roasting in the oven.  This dutch-oven method is the same as roasting, but it works better for me because my roasting pan sucks.  There are roasting pans out there that are non-stick, mine however is a cheap piece of garbage.  It gets the job done, but at a very messy cost!  If you have ever tried to scrape baked on chicken fat off of a little metal grate, you know what I am talking about.  It’s no fun at all.  With this dutch-oven method you can sit the bird in your oven-safe pot and have an easy clean-up afterwards.

This meal is going soooo much further than a roasted chicken.  Not only will I have the meat to feed on for a few days afterward, but I used the carcass and leftover bones to make my very own chicken broth.  I will include the process in this post as well so you can do it yourself!  Think of the money you’ll save when you no longer have to buy broth for other recipes!  If you have looked over this Week’s Menu you’ll see that I am making my own tomato basil soup — well this homemade broth will be used for it and I think that’s super cool.  How coold are we!?  Making our own things from scratch…not everyone does that kind of stuff, but they should!

So we’ve got a lot going on here…dutch-oven chicken, green bean salad, and homemade broth.  I will try to keep it organized here.

Dutch-Oven Chicken

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, 2-5 lbs.
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil or fat of your choice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • fresh herbs of your choice (I bundled together rosemary and thyme with string)

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Rinse chicken well, remove giblets from the cavity if they’re inclued.  Pat dry.
  3. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper.  Use your hand to rub salt inside the cavity of the chicken, don’t be shy here.
  4. Stuff chicken with fresh herbs of your choice.
  5. Heat coconut oil in your dutch-oven over medium heat and add whole chicken breast-side down.  Let sear for about 7 minutes.
  6. While chicken is searing get your other ingredients chopped up.  Add them to the pot as you chop ’em up.
  7. Carefully turn chicken over, inserting one heavy-duty spoon in the cavity will be helpful.  Sear on other side for another 6-7 minutes.
  8. Once chicken has seared and onion, celery, and garlic have been added you can move pot to the oven.
  9. Place pot on lowest rack and roast for about 2 hours for a large chicken (over 4 lbs) and 1.5 hours for a smaller one.  Chicken is done when legs have moved away from the body and wiggle freely.

chicken after it has been seared

You will have to forgive me for my lack of pictures.  I don’t know.  I don’t like taking them.  My kitchen is very dark, the pictures are crappy because they all come from my silly phone and I just didn’t have time!  Read this blog as if you’re reading a picture-less book!  Use your imagination; I am sure it’s been a while since you’ve really exercised your imaginary skills.  Go ahead.

Homemade Chicken Broth

Ingredients

  • whole chicken carcass, leftover bones, skin, cartlidge, anything you didn’t want to eat basically
  • veggies from the chicken process above
  • water
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, read your label here and pick a clean one.  I use Braggs because it’s gluten-free and organic.

Process

  1. Strain the cooked veggies from your dutch-oven chicken.  You can strain the liquid in a bowl and use it to make a gravy for your meat if you desire, but the veggies will be used alone in your broth to give it some flavor.
  2. Add all of your collected bones, along with your whole carcass to the veggies in your dutch-oven.
  3. Fill pot with water, just enough to cover all bones.
  4. Add apple cider vinegar.
  5. Simmer on stove top over low heat for 6-8 hours.  Alternatively, you can combine all of this in your crockpot and set it on low for up to 24 hours.  The longer your let this cook the more nutrients you can gather from the bones.  This is a good thing to do on a lazy day when you have nothin’ but laundry to do.
  6. Once time is up, strain the veggies, bones, skin, and etc from the broth.  Let broth cool before storing in an air-tight container either in the refrigerator or freezer.  If in the refrigerator try to use within the next few days.  If simply drinking it by the mug-full make sure you boil it well.

Green Bean & Blood Orange Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh green beans
  • 2 blood oranges
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. coconut butter
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Process

  1. Cook green beans in a pot of salted boiling water until they are crisp tender – only a few minutes.
  2. Submerge green beans in a bowl of icy water to stop the cooking process.  Drain and place in a large bowl.
  3. Combine balsamic vinegar and coconut butter in a small sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally, and wait for it to thicken a bit.
  4. While making balsamic drizzle – zest some of your orange peel over the green beans.  Peel, and separate orange segments and add to green beans.
  5. Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper and drizzle balsamic mixture over green beans.  Toss and serve!
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