Friday, November 1, 2013

Paleo Friendly Drunken Chicken

Paleo Friendly Drunken Chicken

What do you get from a drunk chicken?

Scotch eggs.

Ok, ok. So I'm not a comedian. But I am a cook, and this recipe is a winner!

This is my take on Maya Angelou's "Decca's Drunken Chicken," a recipe from her cookbook Hallelujah! The Welcome Table. In this cookbook, Maya Angelou tells a story with each recipe and this one is a doozy!

The Story

Decca was a wealthy woman who loved throwing elaborate dinner parties, but she she was never the one in the kitchen because she wasn't a cook. For one particularly large and important party, she was asked if she wanted the chickens dressed or undressed. As she wasn't a cook, she assumed undressed meant the feathers and guts were removed, so imagine her surprise when the chickens showed up covered in feathers and with guts in tact! She had quite an afternoon gathering every cook she could find to properly dress the chickens in time to be used for the party. One of the cooks felt so bad for her that he gave her one of the dressed chickens to take home. She was so exhausted from her crazy day that she took out a bottle of chardonnay and drank half the bottle. After half a bottle of chardonnay, Decca was feeling rather adventurous. She threw some root veggies in a pot, put the chicken on top and poured in the other half of the chardonnay bottle. She put it in the oven, and went to bed. When her husband came home late into the night, he smelled something cooking. He checked the oven, and what came out was the best chicken he had ever had!

Party in the pot! BYOW!
Ever had a day like Decca's? I know I have! I remember the first time I was cooking fried chicken for company, and my first batch was way too salty and the middle of the chicken was raw! My husband wasn't too pleased when less than an hour before our guests were to arrive, I sent him to the grocery store for more chicken and oil. I had promised fried chicken, and fried chicken was what my guests were going to have! Thankfully, I got my wits about myself and the second batch was perfect.

Sometimes the kitchen can be hit or miss, but some amazing recipes have come out of those stressful moments when we throw something together for the sake of dinner. After having "Decca's Drunken Chicken," perhaps even better recipes after half a bottle of chardonnay! Wink, wink.

Paleo Friendly Drunken Chicken

I'm calling this "Paleo Friendly" because technically alcohol is not Paleo. However, wine is an acceptable Paleo friendly alcohol, and cooking with wine is obviously different from drinking it. If you choose not to use wine, you can make this with a little chicken broth or just water-- although it won't be nearly as good, in my opinion!


1 whole pastured chicken (4-5lbs)
1 onion quartered
4-6 stalks celery
4-6 whole carrots ends trimmed
Drunk as a skunk!
6-8 whole cloves garlic
1/2 bottle Sauvignon Blanc (you can use chardonnay, but I personally find it too sweet)
1 Tbs tapioca starch (not necessary, but thickens the juice)
Approx. 1 Tbs each of fresh rosemary, thyme, sage, & parsley (I also added a few extra stems for good measure)
Salt & pepper to taste


I used a cast iron pot and cooked this in the oven because my crock pot was commandeered by some simmering bone broth. However, this is a fantastic slow-cooker recipe!

Preheat oven to 250*F (slow-cooker will be set to low). In the bottom of the pot or slow cooker pour a little wine. Add tapioca starch and mix until starch is well-blended. Add root vegetables and garlic to pot. Put the chicken on top-- make sure to remove gizzards! Pour the remaining 1/2 bottle of wine over chicken. Sprinkle chicken with herbs. Throw in a few extra stems for good measure if you wish. Add a few dashes of salt and pepper. Put the lid on top, and cook for 6-8 hours.

Remove from the oven. Allow the chicken to sit for 15 minutes. I literally split the breasts with a fork the meat & bones were so tender! If you wish to use the juice, simply pour it through a strainer. You can use that juice to make a thick gravy by using it in place of beef juice in my gravy recipe.

Plate it up with the carrots and a side of cauli mash and ENJOY!

1 comment:

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