Roasted chicken on cauliflower

Roasted chicken on cauliflower is the easy solution for those who love good food but have to avoid the high GI foods; there is a scrumptious, and simple, solution to white rice and potato.

If you're not that partial to the flavour then you can add a chunk of a soft smelly cheese at the end; it will make it creamy and a little richer.




If you visit one of my favourite sites, and search for what is the glycemic index you'll find that potato lies in the high GI group whereas cauliflower is very low. That makes it a great substitute for the starchy foods.

If you like your chicken spicy, then you can baste it with your favourite condiments. Some like it hot so I'll be including some fresh jalapeño from the garden; it's very easy to grow by the way and the bright red fruit will liven up any flower garden. Unless you're crazy like me, you'll need only one or two plants. I eat two or three a day for the antiinflammatory effect.

Cauliflower too is easy to grow in your veggie patch in the cooler months; in South Africa that means planting out the seedlings in late summer, say in March and April. They have a long growing season and now in July we're enjoying the first fruits.


Banting diet

Not only does cauliflower have a low glycemic index, but it is very low in carbohydrate which makes it perfect for those on the banting diet. I'm not a fan by the way, though it has many virtues, and you can read why at the rebuttal page; you can enjoy roasted chicken on cauliflower without guilt.

Did you know that if you look at one thousand people on all diets, after one year only five percent will have lost weight, and many are actually heavier? Grasping the meaning of glycemic index is the way to slim permanently.


The bed of mashed cauliflower is quite difficult to see; next time I'll use two. One didn't go anywhere it was so enjoyed by all.


Roasted chicken on cauliflower

So, to our roasted chicken on cauliflower.

1. Start with a heavy knife and spatchcock your chicken, breast down, with the legs towards you.

2. Slip it into a preheated oven at 180°C for an hour and a half.

3. Make up a mixture of olive oil, a chunk about the size of your thumb of jalapeño or chili, green or dried coriander, three cloves of garlic, and salt. Use the stick blender for a few seconds.

4. Baste your chicken with this mixture periodically.


You already have a hot oven

This is the opportunity to turn your lovely roasted chicken on cauliflower dinner into a feast. I always roast two chickens by they way, because we're a family of four adults and three children. Living in a commune of sorts with your children and grandkids is for us a great success, but if you can't hold your tongue and feel the need to constantly give advice, then don't do it!

Cut a butternut in half, scooping out the pips and adding a lump of butter and your favourite herbs.

Either place it in the roasting pan along with the chicken, or it's own oven dish.

Butternut has a low glycemic index, but inexplicably is banned if you're banting; it is largely carbohydrate, rich in the phytochemicals that prevent cancer.


Roasted chicken spices

I always say a recipe is just the start, to get an idea; you add your favourite spices to the baste. Here are mine.

Now blend it with olive oil...

and use the mixture to baste your spatchcock chicken.

Meantime, prepare your cauliflower.

  1. Firstly roughly lop off all the florets leaving the bare thicker stems; chop into chunks and drop the stems into a cup of salted boiling water for 30 minutes.
  2. Once it's boiling hard add the florets. Don't bother to chop as you're going to mash the whole. Allow to simmer for another 20 odd minutes. I actually do it in the pressure cooker; then bring to pressure for only five minutes. Just for variation, I fried an onion in a little butter before dropping in the stems.
  3. Drain off and keep the remaining water. Drink it! It's absolutely delicious.
  4. Add a good chunk of butter; when it's melted use your potato masher, or electric hand blender. Make it as smooth or rough as you like.
  5. You can add a cup of buttermilk, or a chunk of a soft cheese like brie or blue gorgonzola to the hot cauliflower mash; stir or blend the melting cheese into your cauliflower mash.




Put it together

If you have the time, I like to leave the chicken in a closed oven dish in the hot oven for another half an hour; then it'll fall off the bone, finger licking good. Scrape in any remaining the basting.

Place the mashed cauliflower in a serving dish; carve off some white meat, and chicken thighs, layering them over the cauliflower. Pour some of the oven dish juices over the chicken.

Enjoy with a serving of greens like broccoli or kale. Both are found in the world's healthiest anti-cancer stakes. 


Useful links



Banting diet

Let me say up front, I'm no fan of the Banting diet, despite the fact that it works; folk do lose weight, and it's relatively easy because you don't feel famished while banting.

I have three serious things against it.

  1. Banning all legumes because of their carb content means a diet high in animal protein. You'll lose weight, but get cancer instead.
  2. Low GI starches like butternut do not produce an insulin rush; that's what's fattening about potato and white rice, and chocolate cake and colas.
  3. Fruit is not banned but severely limited.

However, the modified Banting diet has a lot of merit. This roasted chicken on cauliflower, with butternut as a side dish is a perfect example of a healthy non fattening diet. Just don't eat too much because it's delic. 



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