I like good food, but I don’t like cooking every day. So, I’ve always batch-cooked, particularly for lunches. My husband’s the same way.
Now that I’m eating keto (I’m working on a post about that), we’ve tweaked the process. Actually, it’s my husband who gets the credit — it’s his tweaks that have made it so delicious. I was just going to do it in a pan rather than letting the juices drip away!
What’s different with this, compared to non-keto eating?
- Pan roast the chicken, instead of broiling it on a roasting pan rack
- It cooks in its juices (which we save) rather than letting the juices drip off (and dumping that in the green bin)
- Skin-on chicken thighs rather than skinless chicken breasts.
What’s funny is that we’re doing what our grandmothers used to do – what’s new is old.
Since several people are wondering how to cook for families or cheaply or are overwhelmed by getting started, I thought I’d share our approach here.
1 large tray of chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
Spices (see below)
- Spray or grease a large baking pan. Place your chicken thighs in the pan so they sit close together, but not tightly.
- Sprinkle the tops of the thighs with ground spices — it can be as simple as salt and pepper, or it can be a mix (here, he did: pepper, garlic, onion, ginger, mint, cumin, fennel, mustard, celery seed… soooo good).
- Drizzle with avocado oil so that the skins don’t dry out and they get nice and crispy.
- Add in segments of onion, scattered around the tray.
- Add dollops of pan drippings from previous roasted meats (chicken thighs, beef or lamb roasts, even sausage) – the gelled juices (brown gelatin) and the fats (shiny yellow-ish globs). This adds more flavour to the juices and keeps the chicken very moist.
- Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes, until the chicken’s fully cooked but still moist.
One thigh, at least, is usually savoured immediately after baking. And I now spoon up some of the warm juices.
The chicken, once cooled, is stored in the fridge; we eat it as is, or chopped up and in a salad. The juices get poured off and refrigerated. I use the fat when sauteeing meats or veggies or eggs, and will use a bit of the fat and a chunk of the “gel” as au jus like flavour when heating up a slice of a roast.
This approach also works for sausages and roasts. When we do roasts, we just add onions and root veggies (tossed in salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar and oil) around the meats.