I’d say we have chicken probably once a week, and when we do, it’s with the skin on and it’s always pasture-raised AND organic. I was excited to see that I could buy it online – and soy-free to boot! – from Good Earth Farms, since I wasn’t able to find it at any stores. Pastured chickens are small by nature since they’re not loaded with chemicals, hormones or anything nasty.
My chicken recipes are usually made with a pasture raised chicken that is 2 to 4 pounds (whole or pieced – to be honest though… when baking chicken I prefer it pieced because I stink at carving it post-roasting). This is enough to feed my hearty-appetite family (Greg, Kamea, myself) with some left over. With leftovers, I like to add it to my pastured eggs at breakfast or I add broth and make soup for lunch.
Garam Masala Orange Chicken (Paleo Gluten Free)
Yield: 3 to 4 servings
- 1 whole pastured organic chicken* (2 to 4 pounds) or pieced chicken
- 1 orange, seeded and quartered (only for whole chicken to stuff in the cavity)
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1/4 cup organic grass fed ghee (or organic coconut oil for strict paleo)
- 1/4 cup coconut nectar, maple syrup, or raw honey
- 1 tablespoon sea salt (plus a few pinches for inside the chicken’s cavity when using a whole chicken)
- 1 tablespoon garam masala seasoning
- zest of 1 organic orange
- 3 medium to large carrots, chopped (or any vegetables you like!)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Rinse and pat the chicken dry. Sprinkle a few pinches of sea salt inside the chicken’s cavity if using a whole chicken, otherwise skip this step for pieced chicken.
Place the chicken in a baking dish (usually 8×13 – or smaller… though I like using my big roasting pan for pieced chicken), and stuff the chicken with some of the orange pieces.
Combine the orange juice, ghee, sweetener, salt, garam masala, and zest in a small sauce pan and warm briefly on the stove so the ingredients combine nicely. Or just stir it all together in a bowl like a paste.
Using a pastry brush, brush the sauce mixture all over the chicken. Be sure to get some under the wings and legs. Or, just pour the mixture all over the chicken.
Tie the chicken’s legs together. I have no idea what I used to tie my chicken (pictured below)… some sort of hemp twine or something? I’ve since ordered proper tying stuff.
Bake the chicken for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, basting every half hour or so (don’t forget to baste the carrots, too). Here’s my favorite baster. You can flip the chicken over, halfway through cooking, if desired. Make sure the chicken reaches the proper temperature.
Once it’s done cooking, take it out of the oven and let it rest for up to 15 minutes.
* You can use either a whole-chicken or pieced-chicken, but the pieced chicken will cook faster. I use a kick-ass thermapen thermometer to quickly check.
I’m no expert at roasting chickens yet but this recipe always pleases everyone. I hope to refine my skills in the classic cooking academy in which I’m enrolled. Of course I’ll share what I learn.
Two Roast Chicken Tips: According to Martha Stewart’s Roast Chicken 101 you want to let the (raw) bird come to room temperature for up to 30-minutes before cooking to ensure even cooking, and salting the cavity of the bird better seasons it.