While the majority (about 80%) of my diet is made up of whole foods (veggies, fruits, grains, nuts), I do enjoy eating meat but these days I treat eating meat like a special occasion; something I want to enjoy, celebrate, remember, and share. When I do choose to cook and eat chicken, for example, I look for birds that are free of added growth hormones and antibiotics, and that are pasture-raised. Poultry from Grove Ladder Farmchecks every one of those boxes.
The added benefits of eating pasture-raised chickens are that they are leaner and more flavorful than commercial or industrially raised birds; they have a lot more room to roam and move around leading to more developed muscles and leaner meat. Being kept outdoors, in their more natural environment, also leads to more flavor. While they may have added non GMO feed given to them they have grass, insects, worms, grubs, etc. to feed on as well. A side note…some supermarket chickens have “vegetarian feed only” on their labels but chickens are naturally omnivores so a vegetarian diet is not natural for them!
When I do prepare one of these chickens it’s usually very simple; a little salt and pepper, maybe some herbs, spices, and aromatics, but only enough to enhance, not overwhelm or mask, their flavor.
Oh…on to the recipe!
I love lemon and pepper chicken but wanted to something a little different. Instead of standard lemons or their juice I used dried lime powder as the main flavoring ingredient. It originated in Persia (Iran) but now popular throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean. It is often incorrectly referred to as “dried lemon” in the U.S. If you want to learn more about this very aromatic and flavorful ingredient check out this article from The New York Times.
1 whole chicken (Grove Ladder Farm hen)
Marinade:1/4 cup dried lime powdera.k.a. dried lemon, black lime, black lemon
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
Mirepoix of onions, celery, and carrots2 cups large diced yellow onions
1 cup large diced celery
1 cup large diced carrots
1 cup chicken stock
Prep the marinade:Grind two heaping tablespoons of whole peppercorns, add to small mixing bowl.
Add the dried lime, garlic, and onion powders to the bowl, add the salt and olive oil, mix thoroughly; set aside.
Prep the chicken:Carefully rinse out and drain the cavity of the chicken, season the cavity with one-third of the marinade.
Pat the outside of the chicken dry with a paper towel, rub the rest of marinade all over the chicken.
Truss the chicken with kitchen twine.
Place in a non-reactive, stainless steel bowl, cover with plastic wrap, place in the fridge overnight or at least 8 hours.
Prep the mirepoix (do this when you are ready to roast the chicken):Peel and large dice one large yellow or Spanish onion, place into a large baking dish.
Wash and pat dry the celery, cut away and discard any discolored stalks, place into the large baking dish with the onions.
Peel and large dice the carrots, place into the dish with the onions and celery; set aside.
FOOD SAFETY TIP!Make sure to wash everything used in preparing raw chicken such as kitchen tools, cutting boards, containers, surfaces, and especially your hands in hot soapy water afterward to prevent cross-contamination.
Also, I use a yellow cutting board just for poultry as an added precaution against cross-contamination.
Remove the marinated chicken from the fridge and allow to warm (still covered) to room temp, at least 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F, place a rack on the second from the bottom level.
Remove the plastic wrap from the chicken, place the chicken, breast side up, on top of the onions, celery, and carrots, pour the chicken stock over the veggies, and not the chicken.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
Carefully place the dish into the pre-heated oven and onto the second from the bottom rack.
Cook for 45 minutes, remove the foil and cook for another 15 minutes uncovered.
Remove when the internal temperature at the thickest part of the chicken (the breast or thigh), reaches 165F.
Your dried lime and pepper roast chicken is done!
Dried Lime and Pepper Roast Chicken