Eating Local In Oregon!!! (With Blood Orange Roasted Chicken)

…with a side of roasted leeks, carrots and mushrooms

I call my current existence, "High-Tech Hobo Life" !!!

I've lived and worked in 5 states in the past 5 years, and I give them all my own nickname. Illinois (my home state) is "BOLD" (because of the Bold Chicago Skyline, bold political figures, bold sports figures, Connecticut is "UNDERCOVER" (ex-New Yorkers who just wanna be low key and left alone).

Ohio was "AUBURN" (amazing colors in the fall, although Cleveland where I lived I nicknamed "FRUSTRATED"), Seattle and Washington is "COSMO", as they aspire to be a Cosmopolitan City (I'm currently 'kinda' living in Seattle)

Then there is Oregon, where I spend most of my time working (although I live in Seattle), and I have 2 nicknames for Portland/Oregon, they are "GREEN" and "EARTHY".

GREEN? Because everything in Oregon is green, even in the wintertime, people in Portland are into every "GreenPeace, Save the Whales" cause imaginable, and they are sooooo into Recycling and Conservation, you know, "Going Green". EARTHY? Because of all these great states, many people in Oregon at least try to be in tune with mother earth, the are truly EARTHY.

There is a "ma-and-pa" organic store every four or five blocks in Portland NW district, and the farmer's market will set up shop right outside the door at your job. That's Oregon. I didn't get into "Buying Local", til I moved here, where I lived for two years before Seattle, and find myself back down here working now.

Also, I had never heard of Blood Oranges until I got to Portland. The availability of local produce, and my own next-level, organic veggie eating, converged in Portland, Oregon, like a marriage that was meant to happen.

Not only that, Portland was the place where a city boy like me could find pasture raised chickens. Even the Whole Foods up here in the Great Northwest have amazing pasture raised chicken. After my first one, I felt cheated my whole life from all those conventional chickens.

Here is a recipe for my first "Eat Local" meal, Blood Orange Roasted Chicken………

Blood Orange Roasted Chicken 
With Roasted Carrots, Mushrooms and Leeks, Serves 4

 

2 ½ pounds pasture raised chicken thighs, (my preferred chicken part, but you can replace with 2.5 pounds all parts of pasture raised chicken. The Whole Foods out here have great locally raised Pasture Raised Chickens)
I AVOID CONVENTION CHICKENS

Marinade

3 organic garlic cloves
½ teaspoon Pink Himalayan Salt (AVOID STANDARD TABLE SALT)
1 tablespoon smooth Organic Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole grain Organic Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons naturally fermented soy sauce (I found this at a farmer's market in Portland, I would avoid store bought soy sauce because of the poor ingredient profile)

½ cup freshly squeezed organic blood orange juice (about 2 -3 oranges)
1 tablespoon white wine
3 tablespoons organic olive oil
Few sprigs of fresh organic thyme (home grown is best)
2 organic blood oranges, sliced into ½ inch thick pieces
3 tablespoons all purpose organic flour for gravy

Directions

Using a pestle and mortar, mash the garlic. Slowly add the salt and make into a creamy paste. Add the mustard and combine well. Transfer into a small bowl and add the naturally fermented soy sauce, orange juice, wine, oil and thyme. Mix well. Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry. Marinate them in the orange juice mixture in a large rimmed dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Turn the meat upside down to ensure that it thoroughly marinates when half way done. Preheat the oven to 325F. Place the chicken and sliced oranges in an ovenproof large heavy bottomed pan, making sure the thighs are not overlapping; pour the marinade liquid over top. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the thick part reads 165F.

Baste the chicken a couple of times during the roasting. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and make gravy. Add the flour to ½ cup water and stir well. Whisk the flour mixture into the remaining liquid in the pan and bring to a boil. Stir constantly and continue to boil until the desired thickness is achieved. Serve with roasted orange slices and gravy sauce.

Roasted leeks, carrots and mushrooms

4 large organic carrots, cut in half and quartered lengthwise
2 leeks or a bunch of baby leeks, cut into 2 inch pieces and halved lengthwise if thick (If you can't find locally grown or organic leeks, try locally grown or organic fennel/anise)

2 cups mushrooms, washed with ends removed
2 tablespoons organic virgin  olive oil
Pink Himalayan Salt and Coarse Ground Organic Pepper

Coat the vegetables well in oil, salt and pepper. Place them in a baking sheet and roast in the 325F oven for 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Serve warm.

recipe inspired by the GoboRoot blogspot

All my experiences in my travels through these great states have meaning to me, but Portland and Oregon will always stand out to me amongst all the rest.

I don't think Oregon will be my permanent home, but Portland, Oregon was the only city, outside of Chicago, that felt like "home", or at least, this era was when I was finding the "home" within myself.

The people here in Oregon, like every other state and city, have the sense of "Hard Core" fierceness and independence…

….same as people I meet from Texas, and South Carolina, and New York, and Chicago, and those in the states I actually lived in, Connecticut (my Connecticut article here), Ohio, Washington, and Illinois.

But, Oregon is different, different than any other state……..

People are fearless and outspoken like everyplace else I have lived, but they don't seem to feel the need to have a reputation of "We don't take no s%$@it" like every other place does, including (and especially) Texas, South Carolina, New York,  and my hometown of Chicago.

(honestly, the "we don't take no stuff" thing doesn't impress me, it gets kinda "old").

A few "jerks" in Oregon like anywhere for sure (no place is "Nirvana" except the Nirvana in the mind wherever you are), but here in Oregon, there was one funny thing took a lot of getting used to for a Chicago "Inner City Boy" (Chicago is a great city, but somewhat cross-culturally "stand-off-ish")……

People in Portland look you in the eye and say "good morning" as they pass you on the street, even to me, the six foot two black guy, wandering "somewhat" out of place through their suburban Portland neighborhoods.

I'm getting the hang of it 🙂

 

Being from Chicago and so proud of our skyline, I named this photo of Portland and Mount Hood, "SKYSCRAPER"

Oregon was my crossroads, the place where I finally felt comfortable in my own skin.

Oregon is a "Quirky" state for sure, with its hippies, and guitar players on the corner, the over abundance of bicyclers even in wintertime, the amazing boots all the women wear, even if they never saw a day of "real" snow their whole lives (unless they go up to the mountains), and the recycling bins that still confuse me…….

But hey, I'm a little "Quirky" myself, perhaps that's why I felt most comfortable here of all the places I've lived, and here is where I came into my own, and discovered who I really was….here in "Portlandia".

below, the Oregon Coast………….

below, Multmonah Bridge, Multmonah County, Oregon (in the wintertime!!!)

below, "Night Moods", Portland Oregon

and finally, go Ducks in 2013!!!!

Below, "The City of Roses" [Portland’s Nickname]
(….performed by Portland Native Esperanza Spalding)

"I take along a little piece of heaven, with these memories of mine……"
–Esperanza Spalding (from the song "City of Roses")

 

~stay healthy~

 

click here or the photo below to see all my articles in "The Healthy Chef's Corner"

 

check out all my articles in
"Sustainable Gardening, Eating, Living…..and all that jazz"

8 Responses

01.31.14

[…] Blood Orange Roasted Chicken gaiahealthblog.com […]

01.31.14

[…] Blood Orange Roasted Chicken gaiahealthblog.com […]

03.20.14

Absolutely gorgeous looking dish. That chicken looks drool worthy….which justifies the fact I have drool while looking at it 🙂 Also some great pics…esp. liked the Multmonah bridge and falls picture. THanks for sharing the recipe and all those beautiful pics. 

03.20.14

Thanks for the comments. I don’t do this for money, these comments are my payment. I’m all up into “The art of the blog”, so folks can at least have a visual treat for the two minutes they stop by………….

07.15.15

Hi Doug, I am so impressed with your commitment to healthy eating and manifesting it the way you do. You are a true avatar in helping others change bad habits into good ones. You have found your calling and are in love, I can tell. I was delighted when I found out you work in Portland, as I live just a little ways south of town. A native Oregonian, I am also in love with Portland and the surroundings that bless us all. Can you tell me where you are working in Portland? Couldn't find anything on the blog about that. I'd love to patronize your establishment and perhaps meet you face to face. Keep up the good work – you are helping change the world.

Cheers,

Bobbi

07.15.15

Hi Bobbi,

I’m a little “dumfounded” with this message (in a good way). Was telling a friend back in Chicago that every month or so I get a genuinely inspiring message from a reader and it is such inspiration and motivation for me to keep writing for the sake of health and wellness.

Anyway, maybe I didn’t say clearly in the article. I actually live in Seattle now. I lived in Portland for 2 years, then moved to Seattle for a job that didn’t work out, and commuted back to Portland for 2 more years working at Nike in Beaverton. Nonetheless, I’m an  IT Computer person, sorry if you had images of me in some “Ma and Pa” health food store LOL!!!

Being a Technical person, it allows me to easily dissect the science of food nutrition, and the real aim is to present it over the web in hopefully a digestible and entertaining way, make healthy eating as appetizing as fun as junk food eating and presenting ways for us to take back control of our health.

With messages like yours……..I think I’m succeeding 🙂

~stay healthy~

 

 

07.15.15

Hi Doug,
Thanks for the insights on your personal life. I am always interested in meeting people who really understand the importance of good health and are actually doing something about it. I've been in the healing arts all my life and interested in learning about nutrition just as long. If you find yourself back in the Portland area, even for just a visit, please let me know. Perhaps we can "do lunch".  🙂

Take good care,
Bobbi

07.15.15

Hey Bobbi,

You’re right, one unforeseen advantages to blogging is you attract a lot of other people with passions in various aspects of health and wellness. the good part about that is they are doing slightly different things, and I’m learning a lot from them….keeps me growing and not trying to be an expert or a guru.

When I get back to “Portlandia” I’ll definitely look you up 🙂

~stay healthy~

 

 

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