Wednesday, January 10, 2007

South Beach Phase One Recipes: Roasted Chicken on the South Beach Diet?


This post is going to turn into a recipe for roast chicken eventually, but first I'm going to do a little talking about eating roast chicken on the South Beach Diet. Since I've been eating this way over two years now, I've noticed that some people interpret the SBD rules very literally. Other people (like me) learn about why certain foods are prohibited and then use that information to make food choices. Using the latter approach opens up a lot more options than if you simply follow the lists in The South Beach Diet Book, (which I *do* recommend reading from cover to cover before you start the diet.)

Now if you're the type of person who does everything by the book, feel free to ignore everything I'm going to say here. Personally, I've always been a bit of a rule-breaker, and I did manage to lose 42 pounds, so I must be doing something right. So here's my thinking about roasted chicken.

The South Beach Diet book lists chicken wings and legs as something to avoid. The reason they aren't recommended is because those are the fattiest parts of a chicken, and limiting or avoiding saturated fat is one of the things that makes this diet heart healthy. If you take some steps to avoid eating very much of the fat and skin, roast chicken is a great SBD food. I eat roasted chicken all the time, and have three recommendations if you're following South Beach.

First, trim off as much fat as you can see before you ever tie up the chicken with kitchen string. I trim all the fat that sometimes surrounds the breast cavity, and completely cut off the tail and bunch of skin that surrounds it. Even if it makes the chicken look weird or if I'm cutting off a lot of skin, I trim any fat I can see.

Second, if you're cooking for a family, let the non-dieters eat the legs, wings, and thighs, where most of the fat is. Give the succulent breast meat to the dieters, and everyone will be happy.

Third, if you're not cooking for a family and there's no one to eat the wings, legs, and thighs, still cook the whole chicken, but use the fattier parts of the bird and the skin to make chicken stock. You can remove the fat from the stock, either by cooling it or with a fat separator, and the homemade stock will improve every dish you use it in.

Now, I don't know if I've convinced you, but here's how I roasted a chicken in my new convection oven. If you don't have a convection oven, those instructions are included. (Complete recipe after the photos.)


Trim off as much fat as you can, especially around the breast cavity, where there are often pockets of fat. I don't know that tying the chicken is essential, but I like to start cooking my chicken breast side down, and tying makes it easier to handle. (I cut the wing tips off this chicken to add to some stock I was making that day.)

Mix your favorite spices for seasoning chicken with several tablespoons of flavorful olive oil. I used about a tablespoon of my own Roast Chicken Seasoning Rub mixed into 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Rub the oil and seasoning mixture all over the chicken, inside and out before you start to cook it. I especially make sure to cover any breast meat where I've had to cut off the skin. Most chicken are around four pounds, and will take a little less than an hour to cook, making this a perfect work-night dinner.

Roast Chicken with Kalyn's Roast Chicken Seasoning Rub(Makes 5-6 servings, recipe is Kalyn's chicken cooking method with new convection oven)

Ingredients:
1 whole chicken, 4-5 pounds
2 T olive oil
1 T Kalyn's Roast Chicken Seasoning Rub, or use 1 T of any spice/herb combination you like; there are lots of good ones.

Instructions
Remove giblets and other parts from inside chicken and discard. Wash chicken inside out, and dry skin with paper towel. Trim all visible fat from chicken. If desired, tie with cotton string, keeping legs together and securing wings close to the body. Mix together olive oil and seasoning rub, and rub all over chicken, inside and out.

Preheat convection oven to 400 F. (Use 450 F for regular oven.) Put chicken on roasting rack, breast side down and cook 20 minutes. Turn chicken over and roast 20 more minutes, then lower temperature to 300 F (350 for regular oven.) Turn off convection fan, and start testing with meat thermometer. Continue to roast until chicken tests 160-170 in the thickest part of the thigh and breast. Total roasting time will probably be less than an hour. (I used to cook my chickens on a rotisserie until they reached 185 F, but I've become convinced that a lower temperature gives more juicy chicken.)

When chicken reaches desired temperature Remove from oven and let sit ten minutes. I like to take the pan juices, along with any juice that runs out of the chicken, add about 1/4 cup chicken stock, remove fat with a fat separator, and then simmer on the stove to cook down slightly while the chicken rests. Carve chicken, serving with sauce made from pan juices if desired.


Other Roast/Rotisserie Chicken Recipes:
Greek Lemon Chicken
Roast Chicken with Cilantro and Lime
Pan Roasted Chicken with Mushrooms, Onions, and Rosemary
Herbed Roast Chicken from Simply Recipes
Herb Lemon Roast Chicken from Stephen Cooks
Herb and Garlic Roast Chicken from Lex Culinaria
Nigella's Infamous Roast Chicken Recipe from My Favorite Plum

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13 comments:

  1. Hooray for roaste chicken, it's beautiful food. Mostly it's hooray for Kalyn. I would think understanding the why would help your long term success tremendously.

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  2. Oh my mouth is watering. Roast chicken is my favourite subject.

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  3. All the chicken recipes sound delicious, not just the starring one pictured.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I agree, Ruth. I just noted in a post that chicken is like a blank canvas. There is an endless variety of ways to do it.

    This one looks very good, Kalyn. The care you put into your posts and your cooking is evident.

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  5. Hi Kalyn!
    I just wanted to say how much I love visiting your site, and I might not have posted before. I really enjoy your obvious love of cooking and the beauty of food.

    Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving a note. It is a pleasure to meet you!
    (Sorry if this goes through twice, but that retry button is a deceptive sometimes.)

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  6. Congratulations on the food blog award!! :-)

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  7. What beautiful trussing! Roast chicken is one of the best things on earth!

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  8. Roast chicken is definately one of my all time favourite foods. Simple unbeatable!!

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  9. This recipe looks delicious and easy to make. I'am gonna try it for sure.

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  10. 42 Pounds? Really? I noticed you looked a little famished. Won't you have a little sit with me and have some pie?

    Biggles

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  11. Hey there, Kalyn! Big congratulations on winning the Best Food Blog Award this year in your category. Excellent! [And well deserved.] :-)

    xoxo

    Karina

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Thanks for joining the conversation! I love hearing from readers and even though I can't always reply to every comment, I will always answer specific questions on a recipe as soon as possible. Sometimes I'm answering by iPhone, so my replies may be short!

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