Moroccan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Moroccan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Can you tell I’m a huge fan of roasted chickens?

I’ve got this recipe, and this recipe, and this recipe to show for it 😛

And here we are again, with another delicious spin, this time with lots of veggies packed in.

Moroccan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables-3

Now, I’m sort of conflicted about whether or not to roast a chicken straight in the pan with the veggies.

On the one hand, it keeps the chicken tender and moist since it’s nestled amongst the produce…. but then it doesn’t get that lip-smacking ultra crispy skin around the outside.

But on the other hand, all the succulent juices seep out of the chicken and baste the vegetables, giving them way more flavor than normal.

After a bit of testing, I’ve come up with a pretty great solution.

Let the bird cook by itself for a little bit, on high heat, to develop a nice crispy skin.

THEN add the veggies, turn down the heat a bit, and let the chicken and vegetables finish cooking together.

This method = nice crispy skin on the top of the bird, but really tender, fall off the bone meat on the legs and thighs, along with tender and flavorful veggies.

Moroccan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables-4

As you might be aware, one of my goals for 2017 is to make an effort to serve my food sensitivity clients with my blog posts.

So, this Moroccan Roasted Chicken recipe is 100% LEAP-friendly.

It’s got chicken, leap-tested spices (paprika, cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and black pepper), lemon, and leap-tested veggies (onion, cauliflower, and sweet potato). Add a little salt & your choice of cooking oil or fat, and you’re good to go.

And don’t worry if you have to omit the black pepper. You won’t even miss it with all the spice going on in this dish.

My goal is to show that even meals that are prepared with relatively simple ingredients can be mouth watering and taste like a treat. There’s no need to suffer through bland food while in the midst of an elimination diet!

So, stay tuned for more creative LEAP-friendly recipes in the future.

Cheers!

Moroccan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables-6

Moroccan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 5-6 pound whole chicken (preferably pasture raised)
  • Kosher salt for seasoning
  • Ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 2.5 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 lemon, the rest of the lemon cut into quarters
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil (or other approved oil)
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into 1 inch florets
  • 1 extra large red onion, peeled, halved, and each half cut into fourths, lengthwise
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. 

  2. Grease the interior bottom and sides of a large 4.5 quart baking dish (usually a Pyrex or glazed ceramic dish) with olive oil or another approved cooking fat.

  3. While the oven preheats, remove the chicken from its packaging, remove the giblets from the interior cavity and save for another use or discard. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then place it breast-up in the greased baking dish.

  4. Carefully slide your fingers underneath the skin on the breasts (starting from the bottom near the cavity), creating a pocket between the skin and actual chicken breast flesh. Wash your hands well with hot water and soap before moving on to the next step.

  5. Next, sprinkle the outside of the chicken well with kosher salt (about 1 tablespoon total) and ground black pepper. 

  6. In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, cumin, cayenne, and lemon zest. Spoon out 1 tablespoon of the spice rub mixture for the vegetables and set aside. 

  7. Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the main spice rub mixture (NOT the 1 tablespoon you reserved) to create a paste, and rub it all over the chicken. Start with the pockets between the skin and chicken breasts, and then rub the rest over the entire outside of the chicken. If you have any left, you can rub it inside the chicken cavity too. 

  8. Finally, stuff the lemon quarters inside the chicken cavity, and place the whole baking dish in the oven to roast, uncovered, for 30 minutes. 

  9. While the chicken roasts, place the chopped sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and onion in a large bowl. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle generously with kosher salt and pepper. Add the reserved spice mixture to the vegetables, and toss until evenly coated.

  10. When the chicken has roasted for 30 minutes, remove the baking dish from the oven and place on a stove-top or heat-proof surface. Carefully spoon the vegetables into the pan, surrounding the chicken entirely. Be careful not to accidentally touch the hot baking dish!

  11. When the vegetables are evenly nestled around the chicken, place the whole baking dish back in the oven, reduce the heat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and let cook for another 45 minutes. 

  12. When the 45 minutes are up, use a meat thermometer to verify that the thickest part of the thigh has reached at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If it has, then the chicken is done. If the chicken has not reached the proper temperature yet, continue roasting until it does. 

  13. When the chicken is done, remove it from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving alongside the roasted vegetables and pan juices.

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Homemade Tortilla Chips

Homemade Tortilla Chips

Do you ever crave those warm, yummy, crunchy, crispy, salty tortilla chips you get at Mexican restaurants?

The ones that everyone at the table can’t stop eating? (Thank god they’re bottomless)

I mean let’s be real, the prepackaged ones from the grocery store just aren’t the same… Unless you’re lucky enough to live near a store that makes them in-house.

Well, next time you’re having people over, you can make your own chips at home!

Homemade Tortilla Chips - Perfect for serving with guacamole!

And it’s REALLY freaking easy.

The secret is using high quality corn tortillas. If you can find some made locally, that would be awesome. Otherwise, search for a brand that is just corn, lime, and salt. No added preservatives or stabilizers needed. They make the best chips, and are better for you anyways. Trader Joe’s usually carries some, as well as Sprouts and Whole Foods.

The process goes like this:

  • Cut the tortillas into 8 wedges (or into strips if you want tortilla strips for soup or salad)
  • Fry in oil on the stove until golden and crispy.
  • Let cool on a paper towel lined plate and season with fine sea salt

That’s it!

Homemade chips are an easy and delicious snack for game day.

Serve with fresh salsa or guacamole & watch them disappear.

Homemade Tortilla Chips or Strips

Homemade Tortilla Chips
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Author: Erica Julson
Ingredients
  • Corn tortillas (preferably ones made with only corn, lime, and salt)
  • Generous amount of vegetable oil for frying
  • Fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. Take a stack of tortillas and cut in half. Cut in half again, and then cut each quarter in half, so that one tortilla makes 8 triangle shaped wedges. Cut as many wedges as you need (each wedge = 1 chip).
  2. Pour vegetable oil in heavy skillet until there is a 1/2 inch thick layer on the bottom of the pan. Warm over high heat until the oil is very hot. You'll know the oil is ready for frying when you dip a piece of tortilla into the oil and it starts bubbling intensely.
  3. Once the oil has reached the proper temperature, add a handful of tortilla wedges to the pot, using metal tongs to separate them in the pan. Add enough to fill the pan, but not so much that they are on top of each other. The chips will shrink slightly as they cook.
  4. Let cook for a minute or two until golden on one side. Use tongs to flip the chips over and brown the other side for a minute or so. Remove the chips to a paper towel lined plate and season lightly with fine sea salt.
  5. Repeat with the next batch of tortilla wedges, adjusting the heat up or down as needed to prevent burning or sogginess, and add more oil as needed if the pan is getting low.
  6. Store the cooked chips in a plastic bag in the pantry for up to 1 week. Goes great with fresh salsa or guacamole.
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Confit Turkey Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Turkey Confit Salad With Orange Vinaigrette

Did you watch the 2013 season of Top Chef Masters?

If you did, then you probably remember chef Sang Yoon. Yep. The ketchup-hater.

Well, he owns two fabulous restaurants that are just a few minutes from our apartment.

Lukshon, an asian-fusion restaurant is one of my absolute favorites. It’s home to my favorite sparkling rose, luscious silky broths, and succulent spicy noodles. It’s my go-to place for a celebratory dinner or date night.

But realistically, we can be found more often at Father’s Office, Yoon’s casual, cooler, sister restaurant that serves up one of the best burgers in LA, thin and crispy fries, and a huge selection of craft beers.

Turkey Confit Salad With Orange Vinaigrette and Figs

I almost always get the burger at Father’s Office (and yes, there’s no ketchup allowed, only aioli), but one time I went rogue and got the salad.

I know… a SALAD at a burger joint??

But this wasn’t just any salad. It was a duck confit salad over bitter greens with a delicate orange vinaigrette.

And omg it was so good, I ordered it again the next time we went to Father’s Office.

And then I got a little obsessed and tried to recreate it home.

Turkey Drumstick Confit Salad With Orange Vinaigrette

I don’t know about you, but duck isn’t sold at my local Sprouts, so I swapped in a prehistoric looking whole turkey drumstick instead. It has the same vibe as a whole confited duck leg, and turkey legs are actually pretty cheap!

Next step? Figuring out how the heck to confit something.

P.S. if you don’t know how to pronounce confit, it’s “con-fee”

Turkey Confit Salad With Orange Vinaigrette, Cashews, and Figs

The confiting process is actually relatively simple and hands-off.

You simply submerge your piece of meat (or veggies- garlic confit is super popular) in a pot of olive oil and slowly simmer for hours and hours until the meat is fall off the bone tender.

I like to finish the turkey with a quick high-heat cook in the oven to crisp up the skin, because let’s be honest, crispy skin is the best part of home cooked poultry, am I right?

But really, once the confit is in the oven, you can hang out and do something else for the afternoon while the meat simmers away, and it’ll be ready and waiting for you come dinner time.

Confited meats are super rich.

I mean, you DID just cook it entirely submerged in oil for hours 😉

So to balance it out, it’s perfect served atop a lightly dressed bed of bitter greens, with a fresh orange vinaigrette, crunchy salty nuts, and delightfully sweet dried figs.

Nom nom nom.

This meal is definitely a cooking project, but I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon! You get to be creative and try a new cooking techqniue, AND totally impress yourself and your family with a restaurant quality salad with fancy confited meat 🙂

Turkey Confit Salad With Fresh Orange Vinaigrette

Confit Turkey Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time
4 hrs 50 mins
 
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4
Author: Erica Julson
Ingredients
  • 4 whole turkey drumsticks
  • Sprinkle of kosher salt
  • Sprinkle of ground black pepper
  • 1.5 liters olive oil
  • Cloves from 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • 1 shallot, halved and peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large head curly green leaf lettuce, leaves washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 small head radicchio, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 16 dried figs, stem ends removed, each fig sliced into 8 wedges
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted cashews or macadamia nuts
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • Zest and juice of 1 small navel orange
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the turkey legs with kosher salt and pepper and place in a large enameled dutch oven. Nestle them in so that they are in one layer. Pour enough olive oil into the dutch oven to fully submerge the turkey legs (don't worry, you can save the oil for cooking later. It won't be wasted). It took about 1.5 liters to cover the turkey legs in my dutch oven.
  2. Add the garlic cloves, shallot, and bay leaves to the pot. Put the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to barely a simmer. Turn off the heat, and put the unlidded pot in the oven. Let cook for 4 hours, or until the skin and flesh of the turkey has begun to pull away from the end of the leg bone and the meat is fall off the bone tender. Check on it periodically to make sure the oil is NOT boiling. If it is, turn down the heat so it is barely at a simmer.
  3. When the turkey is done, remove the pot from the oven and set aside to cool. Use tongs to remove the turkey legs from the oil and place on a cooling rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and place the baking sheet with the turkey legs in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or so, until the skin is nicely browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. When the olive oil is cooled, fish out the garlic and shallot confit & store submerged in a bit of the oil for another use. Strain the rest of the oil into a tupperware and keep in the fridge for up to a month for all of your general purpose cooking needs.
  5. While the turkey legs are browning, assemble the salad and make the dressing.
  6. Place the lettuce and radicchio in a large bowl.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove pressed garlic, and Dijon mustard. Season with a little salt and pepper, and pour the dressing over the lettuce and radicchio. Toss to coat.
  8. Divide the lettuce up onto 4 large plates. Top each plate with 1/4th each of the dried figs, cashews or macadamia nuts, and green onions. Place 1 turkey leg on top of each salad and enjoy!
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