Chicken is one of the meats which should absolutely be consumed organic. Animal fats absorb agricultural toxins like pesticides and dioxins, but chicken fat is also already not the best fat to consume for our own metabolic health, and too much chicken can contribute to metabolic decline or prevent you from healing things like thyroid disease, hair loss, or even cancer if eaten in excess or prepared incorrectly. In my book, Fuck Portion Control I outline how to regrow lost hair, and some of the method utilizes high niacin foods like poultry but is also accompanied by factors which protect us from the types of fat found in chicken in order to leverage its high niacin content. This recipe takes similar measures to help make this food digestible and safe and thus maximize its nutritional leverage. Additionally, the use of a whole chicken instead of parts stretches the use of your dollars and food supply—why throw away half a bird when you’re purchasing just the breasts? There is literally twice the amount of food for only a few dollars extra. You’re also missing out on more complete nutrition which can help improve your health. For instance, the skin is high in beneficial amino acids like glycine and proline which further serve to boost the metabolic rate. If you’re only eating boneless skinless chicken breast you’re actually causing yourself metabolic harm and accelerating the aging process due to the shift in amino acid profile, and the extra tryptophan can potentially convert to hormones of torpor rather than health promoting niacin (this is explained in my book if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Rice as well can be a little bit estrogenic, and eating it frequently can promote bloating or lower the metabolic rate. But, as I discuss in my book, we can use fermentation to help improve digestibility and prevent issues with foods such as rice, but it’s still good to have only on occasion rather than a staple. Such a recipe used in tandem with therapies outlined in my book doesn’t feel like medicine, but it is. Practicing niacin therapy as discussed in the chapter on that subject with this meal makes it superbly therapeutic and will even do things such as help regrow lost hair. The addition of a little extra gelatin to the cooking liquid helps thicken and enrich the broth and further support therapies in my book.
CHICKEN WITH WILD RICE + MUSHROOMS
1 Whole Organic Chicken
1 Package Wild Rice (12-16oz—you can use normal rice if you wish)
1/4 Cup Oil (coconut, tallow, high-oleic sunflower)
3 Cloves Garlic
6 Cups Spring Water (do not use tap or filtered)
2 Tbsp gelatin
8-16 oz mushrooms, depending on how much you love mushroom, preferably brown cremini
1 Tbsp Sea Salt.
Active yeast (optional)
The day before making this meal place wild rice and cooking liquid (in this case water) into a large bowl, cover, and place somewhere very warm such as near a heater. This will allow the natural yeasts and bacteria on the rice to ferment it, making enzymes and vitamins to help break it down and make it digestible. Tap and filtered water will have chlorine and will kill these microbes, so do not use those. This is useful even on white rice because grain starch can overwhelm our ability to process large amounts of glucose at once by using up B vitamins, and since the microbes are producing B vitamins this is no longer a problem. On grains such as wild rice, which are whole, compounds like phytic acid can cause digestive and nutritional problems by completely inhibiting our ability to absorb minerals such as calcium, zinc, and sulfur. We cannot break down phytate, but yeast and microbes can, making whole grain rice much more nutritious than it would be otherwise. If you don’t have time to wait that long you can use some active yeast in the cooking liquid, but that still requires a warm spot and at least 5 hours fermentation, so you can do that in the morning. If you use active yeast put 1 tsp of sugar in the water to help it along. Wild yeast and bacteria taste better. If this seems like a chore, be assured that you will notice how much better it tastes than normally rice anyway.
The next day unwrap and wash the chicken. Sit the chicken up on its hindquarters and, using a very sharp, large kitchen knife with your hand well out of the way above the knife, cut down both sides of the backbone to remove it. Then cut off each leg at the joint, split the breasts in half, and remove the wings. If you don’t know how to dismantle a chicken there are plenty of videos online which can show you how.
In a large pot heat 1/4 cup of coconut, high-oleic-acid sunflower oil, or organic beef tallow. Generously salt chicken and place each piece in the pan and brown all sides (do not cook all the way through yet). Meanwhile, dice onion and smash the garlic. When chicken is browned, set aside. Add onions and garlic to the pot and sauté in the chicken oil until golden, but not browned. When onions are done add mushrooms and continue to sauté for another five minutes. Add the rice and all the liquid (it should smell rather fragrant if it was fermented correctly). Add the gelatin and whisk until dissolved. Then place each chicken piece in the pot, making sure they are mostly covered by liquid. Bring to boiling then immediately change to low heat and simmer, covered, for 60 minutes or until wild rice is cooked (if using normal rice cooking time will be more like 35 minutes). Without turning off the heat, extract chicken pieces, allowing wild rice to continue cooking. Using a fork and knife remove meat from bones and cube or shred. Dice skin into tiny pieces. Discard bones (make sure you get all the bones, especially the small ones in the leg). Add skin and meat back into pot, turn off heat, and stir. Taste for seasoning, add extra salt if necessary. If your chicken came with giblets, you can add the liver to the cooking process in the beginning and also dice it up once you pull the pieces out. Eat slowly and chew all bites just in case you missed a bone. Alternatively, you can serve each piece of chicken whole with a side of the wild rice.