Some healthy Fare!!!!

Ok, I got some constructive criticism on my blog today from someone who will remain nameless…STEVE!! The request was for more healthy food! He is my brother-in-law and another one of my official taste tasters!

I DO cook healthy, I really do! We eat dinner at the dinner table EVERY night as a family, no matter how busy our lives get. I think that is EXTREMELY important in the raising of children! I have all the major food groups covered for dinner(well, except for chocolate) and no fried foods! As I told Steve the major reason I don’t post any of my dinners is because my photos rely of the natural morning light. Even though my camera is awesome, just using the flash on it alone makes everything look unappetising(as you will se in this posts photos)! I am currently in the market for an indoor light so I can take more photos..and not look like such a nerd in the mornings standing out side of my house, strategically holding up my food so I can get the perfect lighting! I hear the Lowel Ego light is good, at least that is what Kevin at Closet Cooking told me. Check out his site..his food and photos are amazing! So until I get around to getting one of those lights, my dinner selections for posts will be limited, because I hate posting ugly photos! So to make that nameless person happy..STEVE, I will post a more healthy option. The photo is horrid, but the chicken is delicious! Fall off the bone delicious! It is adapted from Cooks Illustrated..French Chicken in a Pot(I would link it here, but it wont show because it is a paid membership site)

The cooking times in the recipe are for a 4 1/2- to 5-pound bird. A 3 1/2- to 4 1/2-pound chicken will take about an hour to cook, and a 5- to 6-pound bird will take close to 2 hours. We developed this recipe to work with a 5- to 8-quart Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. If using a 5-quart pot, do not cook a chicken larger than 5 pounds. Use the best chicken available, such as a Bell & Evans. If using a kosher chicken, reduce the kosher salt to 1 teaspoon (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt). If you choose not to serve the skin with the chicken, simply remove it before carving. The amount of jus will vary depending on the size of the chicken; season it with about 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice for every 1/4 cup.

1 whole organic roasting chicken (4 1/2 to 5 pounds), giblets removed and discarded, wings tucked under back
2 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion , chopped medium (about 1/2 cup)
1 small stalk celery , chopped medium (about 1/4 cup)
6 medium garlic cloves , peeled and trimmed
1 bay leaf
1 medium sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
1/2 – 1 teaspoon juice from 1 lemon

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 250 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until just smoking. Add chicken breast-side down; scatter onion, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and rosemary (if using) around chicken. Cook until breast is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Using a wooden spoon inserted into cavity of bird, flip chicken breast-side up and cook until chicken and vegetables are well browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove Dutch oven from heat; place large sheet of foil over pot and cover tightly with lid. Transfer pot to oven and cook until instant-read thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, 80 to 110 minutes.
2. Transfer chicken to carving board, tent with foil, and rest 20 minutes. Meanwhile, strain chicken juices from pot through fine-mesh strainer into fat separator, pressing on solids to extract liquid; discard solids (you should have about 3/4 cup juices). Allow liquid to settle 5 minutes, then pour into saucepan and set over low heat. Carve chicken, adding any accumulated juices to saucepan. Stir lemon juice into jus to taste.

Looks kinda strange that you don’t add any liquid to the recipe right? I though so as well! Well, when you read the article in Cooks Illustrated it states when you add liquid it will dilute the flavor and when you don’t use any liquid it make the flavors more concentrated. Ok, that make sense! Please don’t let the photo put you off! This really is a mouth watering bird.

I always brine my chicken for 12- 24 hours before I use it.
Brine..I never measure anything out, sorry, so these are estimations!

1/4 cup Kosher salt
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp black peppercorns
1 Tbsp poultry seasoning

But bird into a Gallon Freezer Zip lock bag..add all ingredients..fill the bag full of water, making sure Mr. Bird is fully covered with liquid. Throw him in the fridge and let him soak for 12-24 hours. Just make sure you rinse him well when you take him out of the bag!!

I forgot to be politically correct..Mr. or Mrs. Bird…sorry!


  1. 1
    Bridgett says:

    I love chicken like this! I think food photography can be tricky. My husband takes awesome photos, I should have him take all mine! You crack me up: your white trash sauce, ha ha. No way, if you and your family enjoys the food you make, that is all that matters.
    My kids are picky too, especially my son.

  2. 2
    noble pig says:

    Food photography is the most difficult thing I have tried to learn. I have to use almost studio lighting in my kitchen to get a good shot. It’s very hard and cannot be done in the late afternoon.

  3. 3

    I just came across your blog this morning… I Soooo enjoyed it!! : )

  4. 4

    even if it ain’t the most beautiful bird, it still sounds both healthy and delicious–a double whammy. i think brining is a great idea and yours is quite nice, quite nice indeed. 🙂

  5. 5
    Clumbsy Cookie says:

    To nameless person… STEVE: get over yourself! Let Leslie show us unhealthy stuff!

  6. 6
    michelle @ TNS says:

    i’m constantly struggling with my lighting, too. i’ve pretty much given up at this point. i’m a home cook and blogger, not the bon appetit test kitchen, so you get what you get.

    roasted chicken is one of the world’s best foods. especially when it’s been brined first. drool.

  7. 7

    thanks for visiting..come back anytime!

  8. 8

    I also use the LowellEGO light. Love it… and love food photography 🙂

    Have a delicious day!