Herb-Butter Roast Chicken

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Another November is upon us and it’s time to start thinking about those festive meals…

Roast chicken is one of my favorite dishes to prepare during the holidays – it’s relatively easy, everybody loves it, and it’s a great excuse to roast some vitamin-rich veggies while you’re at it!

This recipe is straight-forward and pretty much foolproof, and always seems to be a huge hit. The butter leaves the chicken moist and the herbs add just enough flavor to pique interest without detracting from other festive side dishes.

The trick though is to massage the bird, so let’s get our hands buttered up!

INGREDIENTS

A 3 to 4 lb whole raw chicken, thawed
2 x 4 tablespoons grass-fed butter
2 x 1 teaspoon dried basil
2 x 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
2 x 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
8 to 12 fresh basil leaves

RECIPE

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place the chicken in an oven-safe dish.
Melt the first 4 tablespoons of butter.
Add the first teaspoon of basil, the first teaspoon of cilantro, and the first teaspoon of garlic into the melted butter and stir.
Using your hands, massage the herb-butter mix into the raw chicken, getting in under the skin as well. The chicken should be very well smothered in the butter mix before it enters the oven.
Once you’ve buttered it up, place the chicken dish in the oven to roast for 25 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the oven and turn the oven temperature down to 325 degrees F.
Make the second batch of butter-herb mix and repeat the massaging process, this time, flipping the chicken onto its back first and basting the underside, then positioning it back on its stomach and rubbing the herb-butter mix into the rest of the body, before placing it back in the oven for 1 hour.

Once the hour is up, remove the chicken from the oven and, using a baster pump, suck up the excess herb-butter mix surrounding the chicken in the pan and pour it over the chicken. Decorate the chicken with fresh basil leaves.

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Place the chicken back in the oven to roast until the interior temperature of the meaty thigh reaches 165 degrees F.

Remove the dish from the oven, slice the chicken and serve while warm.

Happy Holidays!

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

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Cauliflower Mash

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Miss mash? You’re not alone and we have you covered!

White potatoes are not considered Paleo-friendly (at least not in the stricter schools of Paleo) as they are not easily digestible by the human body (are considered antinutrients) and break down into sugar. Dr. Loren Cordain writes about this in detail in his interesting post titled, Why Potatoes Are Not Paleo.

In this recipe, mash is recreated using cauliflower, which boasts large quantities of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, calcium and fiber, and tastes just as good!

INGREDIENTS

2 cups raw cauliflower, cored and cut into 1/4 inch florets
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 dozen black peppercorns
1 tablespoon grass-fed butter (optional)

RECIPE

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Place the cauliflower florets, the coconut oil and the salt and pepper in an oven-safe dish and place in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender enough to have a skewer poked through it.

Cauliflower Mash Preparation
Remove the dish from the oven and allow the cauliflower to cool for a few minutes, before placing it in a food processor, together with the coconut milk (and butter, if you desire a creamier finish).
Pulse for about 1 minute or until smooth.
Plate and enjoy alongside protein and vegetables.

This recipe makes 1 serving.

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

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Apple Thyme Roast Chicken

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There is just something special about serving a golden-brown roast chicken. Whether you are cooking up a feast for yourself, or  preparing a festive dinner, a stuffed chicken roast makes a wonderful center stage to any meal, and is truthfully quite easy to make.

This recipe combines the sweet flavors of caramelized apple with the savory taste of thyme to form a delectable combination that looks good and tastes great. Plus, with those two ingredients added to the dish, you suddenly have a protein dish that is enriched with vitamin C, iron, manganese and fiber.

INGREDIENTS

1 whole baby chicken (about 3.5 to 4 lbs), fresh or defrosted, neck and giblets removed
1/8 cup grass-fed butter, slightly melted so that it’s workable
4 teaspoons thyme spice
1 apple, sliced
1/8 cup honey or raw agave nectar

RECIPE

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Place the chicken upside down in the center of a large oven dish and separate the legs.
Reach under the skin and coat the chicken with a generous amount of grass-fed butter on all sides.
Sprinkle the chicken exterior with two teaspoons of thyme spice.
In a small bowl, mix the apple slices with the honey/agave and another teaspoon of thyme spice.

Apple Thyme Roast Chicken Stuffing
Once mixed, place the apple and honey/agave mix in the opening between the chicken legs.
Place the stuffed chicken in the oven for 25 minutes.

Apple Thyme Roast Chicken Preparation
Turn the oven temperature down to 325 degrees F and continue to cook the chicken for about another 45 minutes to an hour.
Once the chicken is well cooked (the interior temperate on a thermometer reaches 165 degrees F), remove the bird from the oven and allow it to sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
When serving, scoop the stuffing out with a spoon and serve it alongside the chicken.
Drizzle the natural juices from the oven dish over the chicken pieces to provide extra flavor and moisture to the dish.

Note: While this recipe calls for the removal of the neck and giblets to make room for the stuffing, these parts of the chicken are excellent sources of protein. They can be added to the dish when the oven temperature is turned down part way through the recipe, or kept separate and cooked later on the stove top. To learn more about Nose To Tail eating, click here.

Enjoy this healthy home-cooked chicken roast,

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

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Cheese, Butter and Living Paleo

http://www.peacelovefitness.com/2011/03/why-eating-grass-fed-beef-should-be.html
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So you love cheese and butter? Who doesn’t! Here’s the deal–a true Paleo diet does not include either–neither were available in Paleolithic times and our bodies are subsequently not naturally adjusted to eating these dairy bi-products.

That said, some of you are lactose tolerant (though I am not one of you lucky folks) and some of you may be able to consume small amounts of cheese and butter without feeling the after effects in and on your body.

While I am not an advocate of dairy and I strongly promote the use of coconut oil and ghee butter as an alternative to traditional dairy butters, if you do decide to indulge now and then, do yourself this one favor–buy grass-fed.

Why is grass-fed better?

Grass-fed dairy, just like grass-fed meat is the product of healthier animals. Rather than being fed grain or vegetarian diets that typically include modified starches and corn meal, grass-fed cows roam free, eat naturally and live healthily. It’s only logical that their milk and meat is therefore more healthy for us as well.

Research has shown that grass-fed dairy contains a lot more CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and natural vitamins than grain-fed butter. It also has a much better ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids. Choosing grass-fed means that while you indulge in dairy, you are actually getting some benefit: CLA has been shown to improve heart health, K2 vitamins reduce arterial plaque and aids the body in using calcium correctly, and Omega-3 fatty acids support our metabolism, reduce inflammation and fuel our bloodstream and brain.

The great news is, grass-fed butter and cheese is more accessible than you would imagine. These products are typically available in any grocery store or online at one of these great pasture butter and cheese suppliers:

Organic Valley

Kalona Supernatural

KerryGold

Just steer clear of margarine…

Camilla Carboni  @camillacarboni | camillacarboni.com

Camilla Carboni

@camillacarboni camillacarboni.com