Monday, November 17, 2008

Total Waste of Time

Well, not totally wasted. I could have been watching The Hills On Demand as I've shamefully succumbed to in the last week. I swear, I stayed so far away from that show for so long knowing I'd get hooked and enable myself to watch under the guise that I'm a culture-watcher. B.S. I'm in on it, sure, but I just can't get enough of Heidi's carebear voice. She's such a total loser and I'm not, right? Many mornings Mark is awoken to my rendition of "Feel the Rain on Your Skin." I've revealed too much.

Last Saturday, we tried to cook a 5 lb. frozen chicken that we got from our co-op...a $20 chicken, mind you. That's a lot to me given I could have gone down to the Kroger and paid about $6 for one that was already rotisseried and pumped full o' facsimiled spices. Well, this one was treated humanely and supposedly you can taste all that good treatment.

I handed the chicken, literally and figuratively, over to Mark as the last time I cooked an entire bird, I was home alone and nearly vomited and became a vegetarian for life. I had to transfer it to a bigger pan and when I picked it up, it's joints moved and it felt just like Xena. My experience only got worse as I stuffed its "cavity" with lemons and heads of garlic. I'll never forget how I ate mine so gingerly while Mark tore into the legs slurping up the skin. That's an image I'll keep for a lifetime.

Well this time, Ina made it look so easy.

Garlic Roast Chicken
1 (5 to 6-pound) roasting chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 heads garlic, cut in 1/2 crosswise
1 lemon, halved
1 large onion, cut into fourths
4 carrots cut diagonally into 2-inch chunks
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 6 pieces
4 tablespoons butter, melted

As soon as you get the chicken home, salt it inside and out, wrap it and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

When you are ready to cook the chicken, first preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Pat the outside of the chicken dry with paper towels. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken and stuff the cavity with the all the garlic and lemon. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken. Place it in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it and the vegetables. Scatter the onion slices, carrots and potatoes around the chicken. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove the chicken to a platter and cover with aluminum foil. Place the vegetables back in the oven and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes.

When the vegetables are cooked, carve the chicken and place the slices on the platter surrounded by the vegetables. Drizzle some pan juices over the chicken and vegetables.

I added a few red turnips to the vegetable mix because I had them on hand and I would never turn down a roasted turnip. But Mark failed us a little, I'll admit. He got overly excited with the salt and the turnips seemed to absorb it all. They were almost inedible.

In fact, nearly everything we touched that night turned into a fowl-smelling expletive. Mark accidentally cooked the chicken upside down, so when we took its temp an hour and a half in, it seemed done. We took it out, tented it with foil, and proceeded with the rest of the meal.

I'd planned to try my hand at homemade cornbread for stuffing. The cornbread was beautiful, fluffy and tasty all on its own, but I wanted to attempt stuffing to accompany our big bird.

The stuffing was dry and also too salty (I used salted pecans from the beer isle--LRC told me to--I didn't add much salt knowing I was working with pre-salted pecans).

Well, it was ready to be sprung from the oven 45 minutes after the chicken. When the stuffing was sufficiently dried out, we cut into the bird...yeah, blood went everywhere. I was over it at this point. I fixed a vegetarian plate and handed the operation over to Mark and Randy.

I was in such a bad mood by the end of the night. I only wanted to sulk and read by myself. Poor Randy. I had to try to convince him I wasn't a meanie. But I know he gets it. I haven't had any luck at all in the kitchen lately.


BetteDavisLies said...

Oh Jesus, have I had those disasterous moments in the kitchen. Since I'm not doing the chicken thing, though, mine usually involve fish that comes out disgusting.

Confession: Dusty and I watch the Hills. We both get really fired up by that Spencer Pratt. What an incredible nemesis..

Amanda said...

I made some chicken legs some months back with similar results, feeding Brandon & Toby semi-raw chicken. Meat on the bone makes me nervous.