I know it’s hard to justify paying $13 for a small organic free range chicken when you can get two for that price. So I wanted to share an amazing herbal chicken meal that will feed your family at least twice, if not more. My husband’s parents were in the desert to visit us recently and my mother-in-law made it for us. I think she got it from Ina Garten, but she loves the foodies, so it could have come from somewhere else. In any case, we’ve modified it a bit and it has now become part of our weekly meal schedule. It’s as easy as can be and utilizes the whole bird. For about $25 we get the baked chicken that serves a primary dinner with leftover meat for sandwiches the next day, an onion gravy that is amazing on eggs, and a warming noodle soup that will last several meals or does well in the freezer.
Besides being seriously economical and delicious, my favorite part is what a great canvas it is for amazing herbal combinations. So far I’ve done a Greek (lemon, rosemary, dill, kalamata olive oil), a Mexican (cumin, ancho chili, lime), and an Italian (rosemary, oregano, lemon) version. They’ve all been fantastic, but the Mexican one was the best. But honestly, it’s so much fun to mix and match, I look forward to each one.
Recipe: Two Meals Herbal Chicken
- One whole organic free range chicken
- Two onions
- Olive oil
- 2 small lemons
- Herbs, Salt, Pepper
- Large loaf of crusty bread
Instructions for Bake
- Slice onions and layer in 9×13 pyrex glass type dish.
- Drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper over it.
- Prepare herbal rub by mixing about 1/4 cup of desired herbs, salt, and pepper in olive oil.
- Rinse chicken, remove neck and giblets and set aside.
- Stuff chicken with quartered lemons, rub herb mixture all over chicken. Place on top of onion in dish.
- Cook at 400 for 1-1/2 hours.
- Remove chicken from oven set aside.
- Slice bread into small bits. Layer on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake 10-15 minutes
Instructions for Soup
- Remove meat from chicken
- Place bones and carcass in large stock pot.
- Fill with water and add 2 TB apple cider vinegar.
- Bring to boil and simmer for 1 hour. In the meantime, cook pasta and set aside.
- Remove bones, add vegetables and cook till soft.
- Add pasta just before serving. Salt and pepper as needed.
Can use butter instead of olive oil. Can substitute other citrus or fruit for lemons. Instead of bread, it also goes great with quinoa, rice, or wilted greens. And do experiment with herbal rub combinations!
Cooking time (duration): 1-1/2 hours
Number of servings (yield): 6
Meal type: dinner