Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Roasted Chicken Success

Is it normal to be tired every second of every day?  I don't think so.  I have a physical scheduled for next week and I feel like my doctor should be able to tell me why I'm always tired.  I know that's over-simplifying things, but that's just how I feel.  I've been exhausted for ten months, and it's time to move on.

Anyway, last night was another successful dinner.  Tuesday was a better night and I didn't let that stupid raw chicken get the best of me (again).  I've never roasted a chicken before, so this was all new territory.  Actually, all of the dinner was all new territory.  There were three new foods included in dinner, and two new recipes.  Can you believe it?

I don't remember eating a whole lot of roasted chicken as a kid, except when my parents would pick one up from Publix.  I actually don't remember eating a whole lot of chicken, period: somewhere along the way I decided I hated it and would never eat it again.  Okay, so I was a bit dramatic.  I also didn't eat a hamburger until I was a junior in college.  (Now, Five Guys is a monthly visit.)  I have a lot of weird food issues that I'm dealing with, okay?

My mom told me to look up Ina Garten's recipe for roasted chicken--it's pretty well-known that she makes one weekly for Jeffrey's return from the city--so I did just that.  The recipe is here.  The picture on the website really doesn't do it justice.  It's a gorgeous piece of meat.  The giblets I pulled out are another story. Don't worry, I didn't photograph those.
Weird-ass Trader Joe's organic carrot

All stuffed up and nowhere to go.

Some changes to the recipe:
  • I realized my onion was moldy as I was peeling it, so I didn't use an onion.  I cut up about eight carrots (they were skinny), one stalk of celery, one apple (homegrown in Poolesville, picked by Nick!) and a bulb of fennel for the bed.  I sprinkled it generously with onion salt, sea salt and black pepper, and threw a ton of thyme on top.
  • Okay, how do you cut an entire head of garlic in half for this?  My knives cannot be that dull!  (They are.)  So I pulled apart the cloves and stuffed them in the cavity.  Oh well.
  • Until sewing machine thread is a suitable substitute for baker's twine, that bird will be cooked untrussed.  It didn't affect it one bit.
After 90 minutes, the beauty came out, and I think Nick was crying a bit on the inside.  Eleanor was trying to jump up and steal away the bird.

I also made mashed parsnips and potatoes.  People, I've never had a parsnip in my life.  That is not something my dad would eat, and when I talked to my mom, she hasn't eaten one since she was a kid, despite loving them.  But out of nowhere I had a strong craving for them (even though I've never eaten them in my life!) and bought a pound of them at Giant.  We also had about five small white potatoes waiting to be used, so I found a recipe from Martha Stewart to incorporate the two.  This recipe had two of the foods I've never eaten: parsnips and leeks!  

The recipe can be found here.  The only change I made was a complete mistake: I melted all four tablespoons of butter at the beginning instead of splitting it, so they were extra buttery.  Not a problem, though.

It was an excellent meal, and I feel extra smug about it today, knowing that a lot of my co-workers went out to eat last night and spent way more money on a crappier meal.  Also, they couldn't lay in the big chair after they were done, thinking about fabric and books and how they were going to pull off the world's best macaroni and cheese tomorrow (tonight, now).

On another note, I've been fighting the urge to buy copious amounts of fabric, because my cup already runneth over, and really, I don't need to spend the money.  What else should I spend my money on?  

Also, if you're a poetry lover like me, what are some litmags, chapbooks, collections you would recommend?  My brother is the only English major in the world who writes, but doesn't read, and has been writing poetry without reading what's out there.  When I wrote poetry, I devoured everything that was put in front of me just to see what I could take from it.  So if you have something you're dying to recommend, please do!

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