Photo and Artwork by Daniel Postlewait
I know I write a lot about having a super clean, healthy diet full of juicing, salads, and fresh foods. I also believe that food is meant to be savored, enjoyed, relished, and adored. And that is where bacon comes into the picture! Bacon, in my opinion, helps make the world go ’round. It makes pretty much most things better. Used moderately, sparsely, and in just the right way, bacon could possibly save lives. OK, maybe not, but it will certainly make the meat lovers in your life happy without giving them a heart attack. So with that, I am going to share a bacon cooking tip with you that is going to knock your socks off.
I was poking around for a new and delish way to roast chicken for my sweetie pie and I stumbled upon a recipe by my second least favorite celebrity chef, Ina Garten. (My least favorite is Rachel Ray, and I am sure in later posts I will discuss why.) I can’t stand Ina aka the Barefoot Contessa, with her pretentious nickname which indicates a look that she just doesn’t have, her pretentious voice, her pretentiously unpretentious house in the Hamptons. Ugh, she upsets my delicate sensibilities.
But I could not resist this tip from obnoxious Ina. Because it has bacon in it. And bacon, in small doses, imparts such a rich, decadent, savory deliciousness to cooking. I highly recommend it as a way to flavor your dishes. Don’t make it the head honcho of your cooking show, just the backup singer to whatever is your rock star. The recipe by lame old Ina is super simple, and you can doctor it to however it suits your style. This is how I did it:
Take a 5-6 pound chicken and wash and dry it, and season it inside and out with salt and pepper. Cover the outside with melted butter and sprinkle paprika all over the bird. Paprika helps with browning the skin. Stuff the bird with whatever suits your fancy like thyme, garlic, lemon, onion, leeks and set it on a homemade “rack” of onions, carrots and leeks. Then top the whole bird with strips of bacon. Cook the chicken for 1 hour at 425 degrees and then remove the bacon strips. Save them for accents in your meal or breakfast the next day. Continue roasting the chicken for about another 1/2 hour or until your thermometer reaches poultry level.
You would not believe how amazing your house smells with all that bacon-y goodness wafting around your kitchen! And the bacon imparts an amazing flavor and a golden color to the skin of the chicken. After serving it up to my sweetie pie, we determined it was the best roast bird ever. Thanks to a little help from our friend bacon. And Ina, I guess…Enjoy!