As much as I love to cook, I don’t like cooking just for myself. I just feel as though if no one else is there to praise eat what I make, what’s the point? And what if I made something really great and my husband wasn’t here to eat it? That just seems wrong to me, like culinary adultery.
Besides, I know the kid will eat anything, so when my husband goes out of town, the kid and I usually just eat whatever looks good. (Case in point: Sunday’s “dinner”? Clementines and almost an entire loaf of cinnnamon raisin toast while standing around in the kitchen, both of which were awesome.)
However, yesterday was the now-or-never moment for a chicken I had in the fridge. I’d meant to cook it Saturday before my husband left town, but we ended up doing a bunch of shopping then coming home to order a pizza (from the excellent Pizza Palace on 121 Dyckman St. if you’re a fellow WaHI resident) so I decided to cook it for myself.
Now, you know on that last episode of Will & Grace, when Harry Connick Jr. comes back and says something to Grace like, “Oh, you– You’re with a chicken, I’ll go.” That’s about how much I love chicken — fried, roasted, really anything that involves crispy skin. Me and chicken; it’s real and it’s deep.
I finally decided on this recipe from Epicurious: My Favorite Simple Roast Chicken. My bird came from FreshDirect already trussed, and I was about to to just rinse and pat it dry, when I noticed the wings still had feathers on them. Ugh. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not squeamish. I am, however, lazy — and having to spend 20 minutes trying to yank out small, slimy feathers was not my idea of a well-prepared bird.
Once the feathers were out, I prepared the chcken as prescribed in the recipe, including “rain[ing] the salt over the bird so that it has a nice uniform coating that will result in a crisp, salty, flavorful skin (about 1 tablespoon). When it’s cooked, you should still be able to make out the salt baked onto the crisp skin.” Somehow I managed to completely miss the parenthetical “(about 1 tablespoon)” part and salt-rained the hell out of that chicken. I brushed some of it off, but it still looked pretty damn salty, and then into the oven it went, regardless. Being closer to 4 pounds, I gave it 70 miutes to cook.
[Note to husband: at this point, you probably want to stop reading.]
Look at this freakin’ beautiful chicken:
It’s all a bit hazy now, but I’m pretty sure I heard an angelic choir singing hosannas.
It was quite possibly the perfect roast chicken. The skin was so crisp and actually not too salty as I’d feared originally. The meat inside was moist and flavorful. After the first bite, I abandoned all decorum (and utensils) and just savaged that chicken with my bare hands. I just couldn’t help myself — that’s how great this chicken was. The spinach I made went uneaten, the gravy went cold, it was just me and that chicken.
In fact, I’m a little embarassed to admit it, but afterwards, I needed to go lie down — that’s how much chicken I gorged on. Kinda like this:
Snakes and ewes, me and chicken… it’s real and it’s deep.
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