Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Everyone Needs To Know How To Do This

My gastronomically demanding brother was in town over the weekend, which always sends me into a bit of a frenzy over eating options for him. He needs things to be great, but not precious; full of flavor but not stupidly busy; familiar but not commonplace. On top of that, there was a dismantling of our beloved Denver Broncos to be witnessed, which throws into the mix the inevitable need to secure a spot to watch said game, that isn't over run by thick-necked sports goons, has great beer, and food to match. A tall order for a span of time covering 3-4 meal periods. Gulp.

In the end, everything turned out great--he was satiated and returned to his food sanctum of San Francisco. The sports needs were met with a trip to The Bad Apple, a place we would have gone anyway because of their amazing inexpensive-relative-to-other-places-that-have-amazing-beer-lists beer list, a general lack of the sort of sports enthusiasts that produce caustic howls routinely every 30 seconds for oft-inexplicable reasons, and the top-top-notch burgers. But more importantly, on Sunday, we did what everyone should do now and again: we roasted a simple chicken. Here's how:
  • Get a good chicken, preferably one that knew--or at least saw--the out-of-doors at some point in it's life and lived a bit longer than 3 weeks.
  • Rinse it. Dry it.
  • Rub it with butter. Or, if sickened by Paula Deen's recent--and, naturally, quite profitable--revelation (or by Paula Deen in general), use olive oil.
  • Shower it inside and out with salt and pepper.
  • Cut a couple lemons in half. Put them in the cavity of the bird along with some herbs and possibly garlic.
  • Tie the legs together and tuck the wings behind where the neck would be to make a compact chicken that will cook evenly.
  • Put the bird on a roasting rack made of either metal or aromatic vegetables such as carrots, celery, onion and garlic.
  • Surround the bird with a few lemon wedges. Charred lemon is downright tasty on roast birds.
  • Put it in a 425ºF oven for an hour or an hour and a half. If you are taking it's temperature, do so in its inner thigh, and shoot for about 155ºF (as it rests, it'll hit the 165ºF the FDA has got you worried about).
  • When done, let it rest (uncovered unless you live in an igloo, or something like an igloo) for 10-15 minutes.
  • Carve it. Rub charred lemon on it.
  • Eat it.

Simple! It's delicious, and will satisfy the most demanding of your kin. A skill every decent cook should have in their arsenal.

Meanwhile, we move forward into a sold out Winter Market Salon tomorrow night, but have a couple of seats open for next Wednesday's Pasta Salon. Hope to see you there!