Recipe: Upside-Down Roast Chicken

www.HomesteadingMom.com, Chickens, roast chicken, chicken dinner, chicken stock

Photo Credit Vince Mig

Every week, I make a roast chicken for our family. This one chicken goes on to feed us another meal plus provides lots of healthy chicken stock. I’ve posted on the benefits of bone broth here. My next post will cover how to make chicken stock (bone broth). My first step in that process, however, is roasting a chicken.

I get chickens from a local farm where I can see the chickens outside in the sun and pecking away at the ground, as chickens should do. Look for chicken farmers like this at local farmers markets and on websites like Local Harvest and Farm Fresh. If you can raise your own, even better!

Currently, I pay $3/lb for my chickens, which are usually 5-7 pounds each. The national average price per pound at the grocery store is almost half that at $1.57 as of May/2014 according to this chart here. However, it’s worth the extra money to get the  chicken from a local farmer you trust, than to purchase chicken artificially plump from fluid injections from an industrial farm. It may be less per pound, but a some of that weight is just water and chemicals.

A 6-pound chicken at $3/lb is going to cost $18. If you grow your own vegetables, you may have no expenses other than the bird. If not, let’s add $10 onto that if you had to buy veggies $18 for a total of $28.

For that $28, you feed a family of four the roast chicken & veggie dinner. Then you get to pick the remaining chicken off the bone and add it into another meal, perhaps chicken salad, chicken soup, chicken curry, chicken pot pie, or a chicken casserole… the possibilities with chicken are endless.

Next, I make my chicken stock in my crockpot (a how-to in my next post). In my size crockpot, I end up with about 4 and 1/2 quarts of broth. I strain the carcass out and put it right back in that crockpot for round two! That’s something you can’t do with a store-bought chicken and get much in the way of nutrients, gelatin, and flavor for a second batch.

So, for under $30 dollars, what the average family of four might spend on a single night of pizza or fast food “value” meals, you now have:

  • a roasted chicken dinner
  • leftover chicken for a second meal
  • a total of 9 quarts of homemade chicken stock

Plus, you don’t have to wonder what kind of chemicals are in the chicken feed that might lead to cancer later. The FDA has finally banned three of four arsenic drugs (which they formerly had approved) used in chicken and pig feed. I don’t know about anyone else, but that just leaves me wondering what else is in the feed.

Upside-Down Roast Chicken

Ok, so what is “upside-down” roast chicken? I prefer to position the chicken on top of the veggies (which act as a “rack”) and place the chicken breast-side down. This guarantees that the white meat will be tender and flavorful. If you want crispy skin, you will have to grab it from other parts of the chicken. However, I typically use the chicken skins when making broth.

 

Upside-Down Roast Chicken
A simple, flavorful, moist chicken with delicious roasted root veggies. I roast my chickens upside-down, or breast-side down, to ensure that the white meat is always tender.
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Ingredients
  1. 5-7 lb whole chicken
  2. 2 lbs of carrots, peeled
  3. 2 large onions, quartered or sliced
  4. 1 lb potatoes
  5. 5-10 garlic cloves
  6. 2 tablespoons butter
  7. Thyme
  8. Sea salt & epper
  9. A couple of tablespoons olive oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Peel and chop all vegetables, and place in a roasting pan.
  3. Drizzle veggies with olive oil and season to taste with sea salt & pepper.
  4. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry, removing the bag of gizzards if one is inside.
  5. Place chicken on top of the veggies in the roasting pan.
  6. Spread butter all over skin, and season with salt, pepper, and thyme.
  7. Position the chicken breast-side down.
  8. Cook covered at 425°F for 20 minutes per pound, until juices run clear.
  9. Leave the cover off for the last 20 minutes and for crispier skin.
Optional
  1. Stuff a lemon inside the chicken.
  2. Stuff the garlic cloves in between the chicken skin and the chicken meat.
  3. Add other root veggies like sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, kohlrabi, etc.
Gizzards
  1. Add to pan to roast with chicken and veggies.
  2. Keep in the fridge to add when making chicken stock.
  3. Save in freezer until you have sufficient organs to run through a meat grinder and add to ground meats.
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Want to roast just the chicken? Perhaps in a Global or All American Sun Oven? Here’s the perfect Made In USA roasting pan!

Need a larger Made In USA, non-toxic, non-stick roasting pan for a standard oven? Try this one!
HUGE sale on this at time of posting!!!

2 Responses to “Recipe: Upside-Down Roast Chicken

  • I totally think we are on the same wavelength sometimes. Totally made a crockpot chicken yesterday and have the broth to can today.

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