Monday, October 3, 2011

Greek Inspired Roast Chicken with Cauli Rice

Chicken gets pretty boring if you don't switch up your flavor profiles- and as much as I like to use powerful spices in cooking, especially with chicken, even that can get tired if you're always doing the same thing.  I was looking through an old Real Simple for inspiration for yet another chicken recipe and came across a souvlaki recipe with tzatziki.  I love chicken souvlaki so decided to make my own interpretation.

Having a whole chicken to use, and no indoor grill- I was stoked to use the convection oven.  I had never used the convect feature for a whole roast chicken and had heard they come out so much juicier and more evenly browned.  Yay! Another win for my convection!

Greek Herb Roasted Chicken 
1 whole chicken, marinated in red wine vinegar, lemon juice, S&P, rosemary, and oregano for a few hours. (I cut out the backbone and butterfly it, roasting it on a cooling rack over a tin foil lined baking sheet to catch all the grease.)
1 tbsp EVOO
additional S&P to season the skin
1/2 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tbsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Arrange your butterflied chicken on the rack and make sure legs are both facing outwards and wings are tucked under for more uniform cooking.  Slather EVOO over skin then sprinkle with salt and pepper (I used sea salt) and rosemary, oregano, and garlic.  I roasted mine for 50 minutes in a 425 degree oven.  Make sure to let it rest for at least an extra 10 minutes!  Serve with TJ's tzatziki!  So delish!  I contemplated making my own but reading the ingredients on the store-bought version, I didn't see any reason to.  The ingredients seemed natural and fairly unprocessed.  I served this with plain slices of cucumber, and cauliflower rice.

Cauli rice is a super popular recipe on all the food blogs.  I was happy with it's couscousy texture and it was super easy to prepare.  And no steaming or boiling either!

Cauli Rice
1 head of cauliflower
1/2 med onion
1 tbsp EVOO
S&P to taste

Cut cauli up into large chunks and place in bowl of food processor.  Pulse until it looks like small grains of couscous.  In a large saute pan, brown onion in EVOO and season to taste.  After onion is nice and brown (maybe 7 min) add cauliflower.  By now you've noticed I rarely cook with garlic, I really cannot stand it, but feel free to add at this point.  Stir cauli regularly and cook until starting to brown.  This took another 7 minutes or so.  Since S was going to be eating this, I didn't add anything spicy.  But some red pepper flakes would be awesome if you aren't concerned with spiciness.  This makes quite a lot of cauli rice.  We all ate large portions and had more to spare.  Perfect for babies too.

Are you an NY Times reader?  If not- you must check out the Food & Drink Issue of the Times Magazine.  It is amazing.  It has fun interactive features and answers some very interesting questions.  Play around with it.  There's an even a separate link to stress-free dinner party recipes.  I really applaud the NY Times' effort to familiarize more people with the business of agriculture, and the sad state of food policy in the U.S.  Rather than being completely downtrodden and pessimistic however, they encourage readers to become their own food advocates and seek out locally sourced, non GMO and organic foods.  The more we buy from these sources, the more available higher quality food becomes.  One person really can make a difference.  And for gods sake, start reading food labels and ingredient lists!  Don't just look at the calories, look at what you're actually eating!  Is sugar the first ingredient? DON'T EAT IT!  Are there ingredients that aren't actually food?  DON'T EAT IT!

I could go on and on but I won't- just read the piece instead, and enjoy!  I'm contemplating sharing a non-GFG pancake recipe- I feel like it wouldn't be appropriate to post it since it's mainly oatmeal- but S eats oatmeal for breakfast most days and I wanted to switch things up a little.  It wasn't quite what I was imagining, so perhaps once I perfect it I'll put it up.  Have an awesome day, XoXoGFG

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