|Delicious Thai Ginger Chicken|
We recently watched Food, Inc. in two sittings no less because my blood pressure was rising to a dangerously molten level after the first half. If you've seen it you know why and if you haven't, well...watch it, discuss it, talk about it, share it with friends, make changes in your life. Or have the immediate reaction I did and paw through your fridge and cabinets, scanning the labels on every jar, box and bag for mutant GMOs, and the viscous poison of High Fructose Corn Syrup. Even though you know your entire loft is a GMO and HFCS free zone and your boyfriend is lounging on the couch, watching you swivel around the kitchen, calling out "that's all natural!", "minimally processed!", and "I ground that meat myself, it all came from a single source!" and indeed, he did. For that is what butchers do, part time or otherwise. And so naturally, even though I know everything we buy is natural or organic and minimally processed and all that jazz, I was pretty sure I never wanted to eat anything purchased at the store ever again and promptly began making mental plans to hang large planters from the ceiling in which to grow my own bounty. Until, of course, I came home to this Thai Ginger Chicken - this local, organic, free range chicken.
To make myself clear, I understand why there are vegetarians in the world. I love animals - more than people in fact. When hunkering through a Western film I'm much more concerned about the state of the horse during the shootout, rather than the lame hatted fool with the shiny boomstick. However, I happen to believe meat is a vital part of our diet, therefore: I don't have a problem with eating meat, I have a problem with how the meat arrives to our tables.
The separation between us and our food source allows us as a country to be wasteful, irresponsible, apathetic and complacent in a broken, cruel and dangerous system. So this is generally how supply and demand works: manufacturers want to give people what they want. So what can you do? Buy locally raised, natural or organic, minimally processed meat. Simple as that. It is healthier for you, free of additives, much less likely to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria and has had a more humane journey to your plate.
|Organic Whole Bird|
This chicken was locally raised, free range, organic and air chilled which all equal humane, green and delicious. Don't be fooled, all chicken is not equal. You haven't had chicken until you've had air-chilled, unfrozen, bone in chicken. Meats that you buy at Whole Foods are minimally processed, meaning they haven't been coated in all sorts of terrible chemicals. Also, most of the processing happens in store so the guy who packed up your ground beef probably ground it himself and it all came from one animal, which means less chance of bacteria contamination. Win, all around.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 lb. organic or natural, free range, local whole chicken, giblets removed*
1 small sweet white onion - diced
1 small pear - diced
1 tbs ginger - minced
Rinse your bird and pat dry. Pour salt into your hand and rub the inside cavity. Stuff the cavity with your onion, pear and ginger. Rub outside with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Place bird in roasting pan - breast down and back up. Slide pan into your preheated oven, on the center rack. You will cook the bird for a total of 1 hour and 20 minutes.
With 40 minutes left on your cook time, baste the back of your bird with your marinade (recipe below)
Cook 10 more minutes
With 30 minutes remaining, flip the bird so the breast is up
With 10 minutes remaining, baste the breast side of the bird with your marinade
When the cook time is up, remove the bird from the oven, allow it to sit for 5 minutes, then carve.
|Locally Raised, Humanely Treated|
Thai Ginger Marinade
1/4 cup wheat free soy sauce
2 tbsp white rice vinegar or other white vinegar
2 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp minced ginger
salt and pepper to taste
optional - thai basil, red chili flakes or minced garlic
Combine ingredients in a pyrex cup or bowl of your choosing and mix vigorously. Use marinade on chicken, fish or in stir fry. The leftover chicken and marinade was amazing in sandwiches and stir fry the next few days.
As a side note, this chicken tastes pretty much exactly like the Ginger Broccoli Chicken off the P.F. Chang's Gluten Free Menu. I recreated this dish with the leftovers and it was amazing.
* If you don't want to use a whole bird: For bone in, skin on breast - place into oven skin side down, bone up and cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. With 10 minutes remaining, flip breast, marinate finish out the cook time.
For boneless skinless breast, marinate for at least 30 minutes and cook in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes.