Mother Earth Living

Cook a Holiday Feast: Roasted Chicken with Thyme

Substitute chicken for the traditional turkey for a low-carbon holiday meal this year.
By Pieter Dijkstra
November/December 2008
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In most areas, it's easier to find local, free-range chicken than turkey.
Photo By Joe Lavine


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Chicken Roasted with Thyme
Serves 4 

Chickens don’t emit huge amounts of methane (the gas cattle produce that contributes to global warming), and they require only 2 pounds of grain to produce a pound of meat, compared with about 6 pounds of grain for a feedlot cow and 3 pounds for a pig. Choose free-range chicken (it’s raised more humanely and is actually more nutritious) and local veggies and cream.

For Chicken:

1 whole roasting chicken
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 celery stalks, havled lengthwise and crosswise
2 carrots, peeled and halved
1 medium onion, quartered

For Gravy:

1-1/2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons whipping cream
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. To prepare chicken, remove and discard giblets and neck; trim excess fat. Loosen skin and rub melted butter, salt and pepper under skin and over breasts and drumsticks. Place thyme under loosened skin and in cavity.

3. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under chicken. Place celery, carrot and onion in a single layer in a roasting pan. Place chicken, breast side up, on top of vegetables.

4. Bake for 40 minutes.

5. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees and bake an additional 20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the meaty part of the thigh registers 170 degrees. Remove chicken from pan, tilting slightly to drain juices. Let stand for 15 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan with a slotted spoon; reserve.

6. To prepare gravy, skim fat from liquid; discard fat. Return vegetables to pan with roasting liquids and thyme and add stock and cream; cook 10 minutes over medium heat, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Remove vegetables and thyme from pan using a slotted spoon; discard. Combine flour and water in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until well blended, to form a paste; add paste and salt to pan, stirring constantly. Simmer for 1 minute until slightly thick.

Note: In most areas, it's easier to find local, free-range chicken than turkey. If you prefer tradition and there's a turkey farm in your area, you can adapt this recipe. Cook turkeys for 15 to 20 minutes per pound.

Read the original article, "Cook a Holiday Feast: 3 Recipes to Eat Local This Holiday Season."








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