This Wednesday, why not make something that will last you through the weekend? A whole chicken is a super cheap ($5 for a 4 lb. chicken) and is a versatile way to cook once, but have many different meal options. A whole roast chicken takes about 90 minutes including prep and cooking, and will then allow you to skip making dinner for the next few nights! Time- and money-saving? Count me in. Scroll down for creative meals with leftovers after the recipe.
When you first see this roast chicken, you might think it looks burnt. This is because the cinnamon toasts in the oven when you start cooking the chicken. The meat inside stays moist and perfectly cooked. The mixture of spices in the rub gives the meat a subtle flavor that is great on its own, and even better mixed into different dishes throughout the week.
This recipe comes from the Cinnamon Toasted Oven Roasted Whole Chicken Recipe at The Paleo Project. I reordered the process and adjusted a few quantities, but this recipe was a winner from the start!
Cinnamon Whole Roast Chicken Serves 4
enough coconut oil, butter, or ghee to grease a baking sheet
1 4-pound whole chicken
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
a scant 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
5 cloves minced garlic
5 whole cloves garlic
Special Tool: Meat Thermometer
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and grease the foil with your coconut oil, butter, or ghee. In a small bowl, mix the salt, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and minced garlic. Set aside your prepared pan and seasoning mixture.
Remove the insides of your chicken (often handily bagged- don’t be intimidated!) and rinse the chicken in cold water, then set it on a cutting board or large platter. Pour honey over the chicken and spread it using a spatula so it is evenly covering the bird. Then take your bowl of seasoning and apply it to the chicken, rubbing to distribute evenly. Put the remaining whole garlic cloves into the cavity of the chicken.
When you have prepared the chicken, place it breast-side down on your greased baking sheet. Roast at 500 for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 450 and roast for 15 more minutes. Take a moment to baste the chicken with pan drippings, then lower the heat to 425 and cook for 30 more minutes or until it registers an internal temperature of 180 degrees Fahrenheit when tested with your meat thermometer. Total cooking time: 60 minutes. Allow chicken to rest for 20 minutes after cooking so that juices will distribute evenly and give you moist, delicious meat. Carve and enjoy!
Ideas for Leftover Chicken:
– Quesadillas: tortillas, cheddar cheese, salsa, and any toppings
Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add a tortilla and sprinkle with grated cheese and warm pulled chicken. Add a tablespoon of salsa and other toppings (black olives, beans, rice). Fold tortilla in half and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides.
– Pasta or “Pasta”: Spaghetti or Spaghetti Squash with pesto and chicken breast
Nuke half a spaghetti squash, plate it as pasta, then add 1/3 cup pesto and a serving of chicken.
– BBQ Pulled Chicken: pulled chicken, your favorite BBQ sauce, and a salad or roll
Pull chicken, cover with BBQ sauce, and cook in the slow cooker on low for an hour. Plate over mixed greens or on a whole wheat roll or almond flat bread.