This is a beautiful Poulet Rouge Fermiere roast chicken, one of winter’s pleasures. The spring equinox is approaching, so this may be my last indulgence until fall.
My grandfather always said the skin was the best part of any bird. He makes a good point. Some of my zealous colleagues recommend throwing the skin out, but I see things a little different.
Skin protects the meat during the roasting process. It would be one dry, desiccated bird without that protective layer of lubricating fat. Throwing out the skin is disrespectful to the chicken, but it’s also expensive. I pay a lot for my bird. I expect my chickens to be well fed without growth stimulants and that means more expense for the farmer who raises them. Paying $5.00 per pound and throwing out the skin means throwing away good money.
My counter to both cost and my zealous colleagues is to serve smaller portions. This bird weighed three pounds as purchased. After roasting with resulting moisture loss and refuse (bones), the yield is closer to 50% of the purchased weight. So I made 6 servings. Plenty of protein, less fat and saturated fat, crispy skin, and deliciously roasted flavorful chicken.
Granted, that serving did look small, so I filled out the plate with lots broccoli raab and a basmati / wild rice mixture. With a little bowl of soup to open and fresh pineapple to finish, my meal was complete. Not exactly a low fat meal, but manageable in terms of saturated fats. And significantly lowering sodium than any restaurant meal. All for roughly 750 calories. That is what I call win / win.
For nutrition enthusiasts and zealous colleagues, the labeling data is listed below. Small is beautiful works for me.
Nutrition Facts per 1 serving chicken with skin (120g): Calories 270, Fat 16g, Saturated Fat 4.5g, Sodium 135mg, Carbohydrate 0g, Fiber 0g, Protein 29g. Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 2%, Iron 8%