Sunday, November 14, 2010


So, as you know, I've been working on my list of 101 to do in 1001 days. Just this past Saturday I officially completed #1 on the list: run a half marathon. I think I'll probably do another, but #2 (the whole marathon) is looking a little dubious. I'm leaving it up, for now, but we'll have to see.

But on to the new stuff, or the fairly new stuff anyway, since I already told y'all I'd done it. It being #21: roast a chicken. At the time that I actually completed said task I was moving and there was nothing to be done for pictures, but now I have my camera back and can post the goodies (for now, anyway. Did I mention that Max thinks he dropped the camera case (with battery and charger) in an Amish field? An Amish field that I walked through, finding no trace of the camera?). So without further ado, the chicken:

The chicken, all dressed up and ready to go into the oven
The chicken before: first, I mixed up a bit of salt and pepper, some chopped fresh thyme and dried rosemary with a good sized dollop of soft butter. Then came the icky part. It goes something like this: insert fingers under skin of chicken. Massage until skin is no longer connected to chicken, but be careful not to tear it. Work the butter/spice mixture under the skin. Ewww. But wait, there's more. After you've got your spice mixture under there, crush some garlic cloves, as many as you want, and rub them up under the skin too, placing them at strategic points so that they roast as the chicken does and you get a yummy skin. Once you've done the skin, get all the bits out of the chicken cavity and put some garlic, a little of whatever spices you're using, and a couple of lemon wedges into the bird. Then rub the whole outside with a generous helping of softened butter and more herbs/spices (mmmm, healthy. Not really, but it tastes a damn site better than dry chicken). While you're doing all this, preheat the oven to 450. Put the chicken on a rack, breast side down, and place the rack onto a pan that has some water in the bottom. If you don't put water down there, the fat is going to hit the pan and you will smoke up your entire house. Not fun. And remember to keep checking your water levels so that it doesn't disappear. Now you're ready. Stick the chicken into your oven, let it go for about 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 375. This way you get some crispiness on the skin (at least according to the many articles I read).

You'll have to wait a while for this one to cook. I read a bunch of different things, but my chicken, which was about 7 pounds, took around 2 hours to cook. Around the 1.5 hour mark (maybe a bit earlier), I flipped it over so that the breast side had a chance to crisp up without the breast drying out. It had one of those little pop-up thingies and I also used a meat thermometer to gauge doneness. While I was waiting for the last 20 minutes or so, I did a quick gravy with the pan drippings, some flour for thickening, and a bit of milk, and whipped up some mashed potatoes. Yum! And look at that crispy skin...sooooo good. So good, in fact, that I made another one a week later. Chicken conquered!

You know what, photo editor?  You suck.  Why is my chicken vertical?  Whyyyyy?

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