To start, let me clarify something: I never said my food (or my restrictions) were about cutting the fat. That would be just plain silly. Because, in cutting out salt, my main goal is to find other healthy ways to heighten taste and flavor. And fat, when used in non-Paula Deen portions, is fine for the body and even better for food. So when you have an opportunity to use natural, tasty fats in your cooking, seize them.
And this my friends is how we come upon these two pieces of oven-crisped chicken:
Think it looks scrumptious? Trust me, it was. And it was devilishly simple to make too.
The recipe only requires three steps: 1) buy two, bone-in, skin-included, pieces of chicken, 2) take out a non-stick oven pan, and 3) roast the chicken on 400 degrees for one hour.
Seriously, I didn’t even touch the meat with a single spice or oil and the result was perfectly succulent meat with perfectly fried skin. It is a dish that snaps, crackles, and pops with no salt and no fuss.
But these cluckers – although delicious – are not the stars of today’s post. The chicken was only step one of many in my attempt to make quick, evening picnic fare for tonight’s activities – an outdoor, Shakespearean experience of Elizabethan proportions.
My goal was to create a cold, fall salad that was packed with chicken, quinoa, potatoes, yellow and green squash, and a handful of herbs, arugula, and chopped up heirlooms.
Originally, the plan was to boil the potatoes and squash in hot water in order to soften their bite. But after I pulled my chicken from the oven, I realized that I had an even easier, tastier option. The pan was still sizzling with the natural chicken oils (and some fried chicken bits). So, instead of cooking the veggies in plain water, I chopped them up and threw them into the chicken pan and back into the oven to roast.
The result? Roasted potatoes and squash that had a deep smoky flavor, all thanks to the chicken fat. No salt and no seasonings needed.
Using leftover meat fats (think rendered pork, duck, chicken, beef) can really heighten the complexity of a dish and supply deep flavors that you will not find in a spice jar or even a tablespoon of salt. So go ahead and repurpose those oils or save them in the fridge for a night later in the week. It’s less mess to clean now and more taste to enjoy later.
And just because you may be asking, “what happened to the chicken and the chicken fried veggies?” let me direct your attention to the picture below:
Oh yeah, that’s a piece of chicken crackling on top.
If you’re mouth is watering and you want the full recipe, send me a Salt-Free My Recipe request and the instructions are all yours.
Chicken and chow on.