Dancing Chicken, Corn Bread, and Collards – Tuesday

OK, so today is a pretty ambitious spread, but I’ve been dying to try and make my own collard greens – and you need corn bread with that (duh), and roast chicken rounds it out perfectly. So, it’s going to be a very southern Tuesday. Because the cooking times are somewhat extensive for a work day, you may want to make this on a weekend, or plan on eating late.

Total Time: 2.5 hours (If you have a smaller chicken, it will take less time)
I also baked the cornbread the evening before since the oven will be occupied. If you have double ovens – I’m jealous!

Dancing Chicken

1 whole young chicken (3-5 lbs)

Seasoning Options:
Rosemary
Herbs de Provence
Poultry seasoning
Lemon pepper
Barbecue rub

Rinse the chicken both inside and out and remove the bag of goodies inside.

Rub dry seasoning all over bird – whichever option from above you like most – NOT all of them, just one J or sometimes just some salt and pepper!

Ram the stand up through the chicken’s neck hole.

NOT like the picture here…chicken stand

This is what the stand looks like, but you need to flip the chicken so that the drum sticks NOT the wings are on top. THIS IS KEY! For some reason, people don’t do it like that, but having the drum sticks at the top allows the fat to render through the meat much better which produces an awesome, juicy chicken. This is also why my mom called it “dancing,” because you can grab hold of the drumsticks and dance with your chicken! (OK we’re a strange family).

Be warned – you WILL have to fight with it a little, and there will be some bones cracking (mmm, appetizing ) to shove the stand in through the smaller end – but you can do it! And it’s totally worth it!

Place the stand on a cookie sheet or roasting pan to catch the drippings.

Remove all the racks from the oven except the bottom one. Place the chicken in the oven and bake on 375 degrees for a 3 – 4 pound chicken. It will be done in 1.5 to 2 hours. If the chicken is over 4 pounds, set the oven temperature down to 325 and cook for about 2.5 hours. (Use a meat thermometer to register 165 degrees F  in the breast).  Also, if the legs move very easily, it’s done.

Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

chicken & greens 007

HUSBAND RATING:

“Love this chicken. What is a whole chicken like 12 bucks?”
“UM NO! Try $5-$6.00.”
“OH! Woah, it tastes even better now! Dang! We get so many good meals out of them.”

Buttery Corn Bread

I got this recipe by a generic Google search on tasteofhome.com. I’ve made a decent number of Corn Bread recipes, and they’re all good, but I haven’t been sold yet on any one in particular to keep it as my go-to.

2/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1-2/3 cups 2% milk
2-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
4-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Combine the eggs and milk.
Combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with egg mixture.
Pour into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 400° for 22-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.

Corn Bread

HUSBAND RATING: “Mmm, this is fluffy. I like this sweeter corn bread with the salty greens, but overall I like the more savory cornbreads.” … I’m right there with him. Perfect analysis!

Collard Greens

Who else to go to for a collards recipe than Paula Dean! I’m excited to see how these turn out!

1/2 pound smoked meat (ham hocks, smoked turkey wings, or smoked neck bones)
1 tablespoon House seasoning, recipe follows
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon hot red pepper sauce
1 large bunch collard greens (I just got the big, already chopped up bag)
1 tablespoon butter

In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add smoked meat, house seasoning, seasoned salt and hot sauce. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 hour.

Wash the collard greens thoroughly. Remove the stems that run down the center by holding the leaf in your left hand and stripping the leaf down with your right hand. The tender young leaves in the heart of the collards don’t need to be stripped. Stack 6 to 8 leaves on top of one another, roll up, and slice into 1/2 to 1-ince thick slices. (Mine were in a bag and pre-cut/stripped to save a step) Place greens in pot with meat and add butter. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. When done taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with favorite dish as a side.

House Seasoning:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

Greens

HUSBAND RATING: “They taste like real greens! You must be from the south.” And he ate every last one.

I will say they were pretty salty, and I even added extra water (about a quart) when I tasted them with 30 minutes to go. But all-in-all not bad!

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