Low Carb Cooking 101: Low-Carb Lesson #41: Harlem Roast Chicken, A Mess of Greens & Old-Fashioned Cole Slaw
Franklin Roosevelt promised “a chicken in every pot” when he was first campaigning for the presidency. The Depression was in full swing, and having chicken for dinner – or any kind of meat! – was a luxury many people couldn’t afford.
Those were tough, scary times, and I don’t think that anyone who didn’t actually live through them can really appreciate what people went through back then. There have been times when I haven’t been able to afford what I want to eat, but there has never been a time when I couldn’t buy something food to feed myself or my family.
During this time of national crisis, it would behoove us to remember just how lucky we all are. Even during the Depression people didn’t go without water, as so many of the Iraqi citizens have had to do lately. Can you imagine being thirsty and not being able to get something to drink?!? It’s unfathomable.
Old-fashioned Sunday dinners are pretty much a thing of the past. Everybody has too many places to go and too many things to do. But perhaps we should revive them. It’s worthwhile, every now and then, to make the effort to serve a lovely Sunday dinner and gather the entire family around the table to share our days and our accomplishments, our hopes, our fears, and our dreams. Oh, and to share our thankfulness for what we have to so many people in other countries don’t.
You can’t weasel out of this because your Sundays are full-to-bursting, either. You can serve a Sunday dinner any day of the week. All you need is food and family. The rest takes care of itself.
Here’s this evening’s simple menu
- Harlem Roast Chicken
- Low-Carb Mess O’ Greens Recipe
- Old Fashioned Low-Carb Cole Slaw Recipe
Here’s the shopping list for the meal. You may very well already have some of these things on hand:
- 2 two-and-a-half-to-three-pound chickens
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 1 bunch collard greens
- 1 bunch turnip greens
- 1 bunch turnip greens
- 1 16-ounce package prepared cole slaw vegetables
- 1 lemon
- 2 stalks celery
- 2 small onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- sour cream
- 1 can chicken broth (or more)
- minced garlic (jarred)
- Dijon mustard
- apple cider vinegar
- dry mustard
- dried rosemary
- dried thyme
- freshly ground black pepper
Here’s the game plan:
This is an old-fashioned Sunday dinner, and is best reserved until you really have the time to cook. It’s not a difficult meal, nor is there a lot of preparation, but things have to cook in their own good time. You can’t hurry them.
Start off by boiling the ham hock, and then after an hour prepare the greens and add them to the pan. They need to be simmered over medium low heat for about 2 hours.
Once you have the greens going, prepare the cole slaw and put it in the refrigerator for the flavors to blend.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare the chickens according to the recipe instructions and slide them into the oven. Remember to baste them every 15 minutes or so during the roasting process.
Reduce the heat under the greens to low once they are tender.
After an hour and a half, check the chickens for doneness using an instant meat thermometer. Remove the chicken from the oven when their temperature is no less than 190 degrees and the juices should run clear. Once they reach the correct temperature, set the chickens on an unheated burner or a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes.
Pour the liquid from the roasting pan into a small saucepan and heat the liquid over medium high heat. While the liquid from the roasting pan is reducing, set the table.
Carve up the chickens and place the pieces on the plates. Add the greens to the plates and put the plates on the table. Serve the cole slaw in small bowls and put them on the table.
Sit down to a well-deserved, relaxing meal.
And, finally, here’s the recipes:
Harlem Roast Chicken
There’s a reason to cook two of these chickens at a time. The leftovers are delicious!
This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Norma Darden http://harlemeatup.com/talent/norma-jean-darden/, owner of Miss Mamie’s and Miss Maude’s restaurants in Harlem, NY. I’ve adapted it to be lower in carbohydrates and somewhat easier to prepare.
- 2 two-and-a-half-to-three-pound chickens, rinsed and patted dry
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 lemon, halved crosswise
- 2 stalks celery, cut in half crosswise
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1 clove garlic, halved
- salt (to taste)
- freshly ground black pepper (to taste – I use lots!)
- 1 can chicken broth
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine the dried rosemary, dried thyme, mustard, and minced garlic. Set aside.
Rub each chicken inside and out with half a lemon. Place one lemon half in each chicken’s cavity. Add a stalk of celery, two onion quarters, and a clove of garlic to the lemon in each cavity.
Rub the chickens all over with the mustard mixture; don’t forget to do the undersides! Season the chickens with salt and pepper. Place the chickens side-by-side on a rack in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle the chickens all over with the chicken broth. Pour remaining chicken broth into the bottom on the roasting pan.
Bake, basting about every 15 minutes, until the juices run clear, about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours. (You may need to add additional chicken broth for basting if the original broth in the bottom of the pan evaporates.)
Remove the broiler pan from oven, transfer the chickens to a serving platter, and let them rest 10 minutes.
Remove rack from roasting pan and pour the remaining juices in the bottom of pan into a small saucepan. Cook the juices over medium high heat until they are slightly reduced. This will take about 5 minutes.
Pour the reduced liquid over the chickens or serve it on the side at the table.
Old-Fashioned Cole Slaw