brown sugar chicken

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Each night before bed I love to take a little bit of time to myself to whine down from the day. Sometimes it’s re-runs of Modern Family or 20/20 and sometimes it’s a book. Right now I’m juggling between 2 different books, one, Loveology,  for a six week marriage class through our church (which is a wonderful read for any Christian marriage), and the other is called Radical Homemakers by Shannon Hayes.

Here at home we have been trying to live a simpler life, including cutting down the amount of time we spend on screen entertainment, cutting out processed food and focusing on local, sustainable food sources, and more DIY type projects. After having Everly I got a strong pull to stay at home and focus more on domestic skills rather than go back into the work force. It’s been a challenge but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

During this year, I’ve been reading and learning more and more about “homesteading” or becoming a “radical homemaker” and slowly I’m falling farther and farther down the rabbit hole so to speak. Hayes book takes living simply to a whole new level! After interviewing numerous radical homemakers from all over the country, she explains why focusing on “home” and all that goes into that, can produce a less stressed, happier and healthier family unit.

A lot of the book focuses on domestic skills that we have become disconnected with and one of the main crafts is the art of cooking and enjoying a meal. It’s amazing how many people don’t know how to roast a simple chicken around these parts. This week, a good friend of mine approached me and asked if I would help teach her how to prepare a chicken for her new boyfriend as a surprise dinner and I was more than happy to help!

After a fun afternoon the chicken turned out perfect and the boyfriend was a happy man. She learned how to roast a chicken and I learned that photographing chicken is REALLY hard to do!

It was wonderful being able to come together and pass along a simply skill that hopefully will help her to reconnect with food and the dinner table for years to come!


1 whole chicken halved

1/2 stick of butter softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3 cloves of garlic minced

Preheat oven to 375*

Mix the butter with brown sugar, paprika, salt, pepper and garlic.

Pat chickens dry with a paper towel and place in a baking dish. Using your fingers separate the skin from the breast so that you make a little pocket between the two. Scoop up a tablespoon or so of the butter mixture and slip into the pocket between the chicken breast and the skin and then rub your finger over the top of the skin to distribute the butter inside. Repeat with both halves.

Rub the remaining butter over each chicken.

Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour until an internal meat thermometer reads 165* in the thigh and middle of the breast meat. Let sit for 10 minutes then slice and serve.