GINNA PARSONS: We’re giving organic a try

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

You will see in the story to the right of this column (on the printed page) that I spent a considerable amount of time last week in health food stores, talking with owners about tips for being more healthy in 2013.
The one resounding word I heard over and over was organic.
Organic foods – fruits, vegetables, meats, grains – have been in stores and at farmers markets and farm stands for quite a while now. But frankly, I turned a deaf ear.
Last week, I began listening.
Now, I’m not here to tell you that my family is going all-organic from here on. For one thing, I need to do a little more research before I decide for myself what I will or won’t put on my dinner table.
But some things just seemed to make sense. I mean, I’m not going to buy organic bananas, because I pull a thick skin off them before I eat them. But organic lettuce? That might be worth a few extra pennies.
And for the first time in my life, I bought organic chicken at the store this weekend. Yes, it was more expensive ($7.40 for the organic whole chicken used in the recipe below, as opposed to $2.99 for the non-organic).
But because it was higher, we ate smaller portions. The chicken – and it was delicious – fed four of us for dinner, Charlie and I both had leftovers to take to work on Monday for lunch, and I boiled the carcass overnight and got three cups of a rich broth to use later in the week for soup.
When you look at it that way, it was a bargain – in more ways than one.

Roasted Citrus Chicken
1 whole chicken, 31⁄2 to 4 pounds
1 orange, cut into quarters
1 lemon, cut into quarters
1 lime, cut into quarters
1⁄2 cup yellow onion, small dice
1 teaspoon fresh garlic minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
Remove giblets and neck from the chicken, rinse it well and pat it dry.
Combine the orange, lemon and lime with the diced onions, minced garlic and fresh thyme. Stuff the citrus-onion mixture into the cavity of the chicken.
Brush the skin of the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle the skin with poultry seasoning and black pepper. Tie the legs together, and bend the wings back to secure them.
Bake chicken at 325 degrees for about 2 hours, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 175 to 180 degrees and the juices run clear. Allow it to rest for 10 to 12 minutes before carving.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.