Meal Prep Tip #2 - Roasting Chicken

I love to roast chickens in the cooler weather seasons. It leaves a fabulous smell in the house and makes it warm and inviting on chilly days. Ok, I know it was just in the mid 90s a day or two ago, but a girl can dream, can't she?

I was visualizing those cooler days and prepping meals for a client a few days ago and thought about why and how I did two chickens at once. It came to me, why not talk about that in a post? It's a helpful tip, especially when you are prepping for yourself (and maybe a family) for the week. I am always about the most efficient way to get nutrient dense meals on the table and in containers for the week, because as much as I love to cook and create, there are times when that's not feasible. Especially during football, marching band, and fall soccer season!

Meal Prep Tip #2 - Roast two chickens at once! Seem simple? It can be. I buy smaller organic chickens (about 8 lbs. total weight for two), and they easily fit in my roasting pan. And depending on what soups or meals I've planned for the week, I'll season them accordingly. In the photo, I used a southwest blend on one and herbs de provence on the other, because I had other meals planned from each. Ingenious? I planned for Chicken White Bean Chili, Southwest Corn Chowder and an Enchilada Casserole for one. I then made the second for a Roasted Chicken with Brussel Sprouts, Broccoli and Mashed Potatoes meal and saved the rest of the meat for Tuscan Sausage, Chicken and White Bean Stew. And I still had meat left over for topping my salads with a homemade vinaigrette. Six different offerings for minimal effort. And lots of leftover for the lunches. Then I could fill in with other meats, fish, etc., where needed!

Here's my easy roast chicken recipe with a couple of variations.

Roasted Chicken

4- 5 lb. Pastured Organic Chicken

3 T Olive Oil

Option 1 - Herb Roasted Chicken

1 T herbes de provence (if you don't have this, use a mixture of rosemary, thyme and marjoram or oregano)

Celtic or Himalayan Sea Salt

Option 2 - Southwest Roasted Chicken

1 t. paprika

1 t. chipotle powder

1 t. garlic powder

1 t. cumin

Real Salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Place chickens in roasting pan. If you're concerned about mixing the flavors, separate with a bit of parchment. I didn't find it to be a problem though.

3. Drizzle oil over chickens and use a pastry brush to coat.

4. (For this part I use food handler's gloves for easy clean up) Chicken 1 - sprinkle herbs over chicken and add amount of salt. If you want, you can rub this mix under the skin too. Change gloves.

5. Chicken 2 - mix all spices together and then sprinkle over chicken with salt. Again, rub under skin to flavor the meat even more.

6. Bake in oven for around 1 hour to an hour and 15 minutes and juices clear when cut between chicken's leg and thigh (or until desired internal temperature - most recipes call for between 165-180 degrees). I usually check temperature at the hour mark and adjust roasting time.

7. Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes.

NOTE: These are ready to serve or be separated for other meals. If making other meals, let cool until easy to remove meat from bones. And save your bones in the freezer, and I'll give you a tip on how to make easy broth soon!!

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