Just before Christmas, my friend Stacy shared with me the method she used to roast her Thanksgiving turkey.
When I made our turkey this year, I stuffed it with apples, pears, oranges, brown sugar, butter, and rosemary! It was so moist and delicious and you could taste the fruit in the meat….also the gravy made from the drippings was some kind of awesome!
I assumed that she remembered from all of my pork with fruit posts that I LOVE meat cooked with fruit, and was very grateful to have her pass this idea on to me.
We had a second Christmas dinner when my dad and his wife came to visit after the holiday had ended. I used Stacy’s idea to roast a fruity chicken. Guess what. Stacy was right. The whole thing was “some kind of awesome”!
It struck me yesterday, after a wave of discouragement smacked me for temporarily turning my blog into a health nut cooking site, that GAPS food doesn’t have to be boring. Without cream and whippy chocolate things, and bread to sop everything up with, it is really very mundane, so I decided that I would just have to look harder at the list of foods we are allowed to have and get creative. After all, the whole purpose of blogging for me is to try to think outside the box.
Then I remembered Stacy’s turkey. Okay, so I totally stole the idea, no creativity required, but I realized that we can have apples on GAPS. We can have raisins, cinnamon, honey, and roast meats on GAPS…and there were these two birds sitting in the fridge needing to be made into stock…
Rather than dumping them in a pot to simmer away so that we could eat more and more and more of the brown boiled chicken we’ve had so much of over the last month, I stole the bones from the chickens, ripped them right out of their yeller skins, refusing to eat another wimpy, limp piece of cooked-to-mush chicken, and set to work. I turned one of the birds into Apple Dumpling Chicken (Get it? The chicken is the pastry? When I’m off GAPS I’m going to wrap the entire apple/cinnamon/raisin stuffed bird in an enormous sheet of puff pastry. I really am.) and marinated the second chicken to use another day.
An hour and a half later, my family and I were sitting down to the most tender, juicy chicken I have ever eaten. Dark meat, white meat…didn’t matter. Moist and tasty through and through. Like Stacy said, the meat picks up the flavor of the fruit, but I think it is so tender because the fruit steams the bird from the inside out and it just melts in your mouth. Like butta!
1 whole chicken. I needed the bones for stock so deboned my bird, but an easier method would be to just leave it whole and stuff the cavities.
4 peeled, cored apples cut into wedges. Choose apples that keep their shape during the cooking process, if you are using a deboned chicken, so that the whole thing doesn’t fall flat when it’s roasted.
1/4 c. raisins
Freshly ground black pepper
Ghee or butter. I’m using ghee, coconut oil, and extra virgin olive oil for cooking while we are on GAPS.
3 T raw honey
3 T water
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Place the chicken in a roasting pan, then rub it down with ghee or butter.
Season it, inside and out, with salt and pepper.
Stuff the cavities with apples and raisins and sprinkle with cinnamon. Add a few dollops of butter or ghee. Seal up the bird if necessary, truss if you like.
Roast for 35 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees and roast for an additional 30 minutes.
Mix together the honey and water to make a glaze.
Brush the honey/water over the bird.
Increase oven temp. to 400 and allow the bird to brown for 10 minutes. Baste with the pan drippings and more honey glaze and roast for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes or so.
Serve sliced with apples and raisins.
Use the “some kind of awesome” pan drippings to lace each serving with apple dumpling goodness.