Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dalliances in the Kitchen: Roast Chicken

(image taken from A Writer's Desk)

(image taken from Ale Heads)

On Sunday afternoon, feeling simultaneously domestic and refreshingly rested and refurbished, I decided to embark upon what is generally considered a modest and unassuming kitchen adventure: roasting a chicken. Partially, I wanted to expand my skills and horizons, mostly, I wanted to prepare something actually decent and delicious for my filmmaker, for once. The week before, I had stopped into Brooklyn for a typical visit of cuddling and giggling with my niece and in staying for Sunday dinner, earned a free tutorial from my sister. Despite her culinary and pedagogical expertise, and the relative ease of my task in terms of steps and necessary cooking ambidexterity, I still managed to muck a few things up.

Purchasing the necessary fresh ingredients, preparing the bird for roasting with stuffed thyme and onions and celery, dicing vegetables, and compiling all in a mess of olive oil into my cast iron skillet went off flawlessly. With my oven accurately pre-heated, or so I could only assume, in went the skillet and I had merely to wait those long, long ninety or so minutes. What happened next was a far cry from burning anything, neither chicken nor vegetation flesh; rather, I prematurely removed the entire skillet, began to slice and to serve, and then was questioned by the filmmaker. Indeed, the chicken tasted delicious, however, the chunks of potatoes could have easily just been dug up from the earth that moment, or, could have stood in as stones. They were incredibly hard. I threw the entire ordeal back in the oven and we sipped some red wine as we waited yet another twenty minutes or so. By then, the chicken was still delicious and juicy, perhaps even more so, as we were ravenous and had been cruelly teased with earlier tastes, and the potatoes were edible, though still unpleasantly so.

Crucial lesson learned for next time: remove chicken from skillet, allow to set on the counter and cool for as long as desired, up to an hour, as the skin will retain the heat and the moisture, and then continue cooking the polymer-like sinews and fibers of vegetables until soft.


  1. I am very impressed! Cooking is a skill I am yet to master!

  2. Glad it tasted good in the end! I've never attempted to roast a chicken before but I'll try to remember your advice when I eventually get round to it! xx

  3. i like it too! great post!


  4. Good tips! I am trying to learn how to cook better! <3 Sarah