Friday, June 22, 2012

Engagement chicken? No thanks, I'm hitched.

I've been married for ALMOST two months now. It's been a fantastic last couple of months, and a definite learning experience for both of us. Ben is learning, again, that I am kind of a kitchen destroyer. I am learning not to trust him to handle getting us car insurance. It's a give and take kinda game :)

Man Candy and I are spending our Friday night relearning how to do food photography. You see, he's a physicist by training, but he's also a professional photographer (lucky me!!) and does all kinds of athletic photography, from artsy "look at how hot I am!!" to races to catalogs. But the problem is this : food isn't... so much mobile. It's not running past while you hurry to get the shot. It's just there. So it's kinda hard to take photos that are dynamic of something that's inherently not.

Unless it's a chicken. Which is where we come to tonight's absolutely ridiculously delicious roast chicken. Friday night in a jewish household typically means roast chicken in some incarnation. Now, we're by no stretch a typical jewish household; we love bacon almost as much as we love our cat, cherish our long Saturday drives, and don't go to temple very often. A good roast chicken can be almost transcendant.

I feel like Ms chicken died for our sins (or consuming, semantics), so we have to do right by her.

I came across the ludicrously titled "engagement chicken" about a year ago. I got engaged soon after but it's completely unrelated. I suppose if you never cooked, and then came out with this recipe, your man might be surprised into... something. I don't know. It's a pretty basic roast chicken with tons of lemon and whatever herbs I found flourishing outside in my garden today. You should try it, not because it will get you engaged, which it won't, but because it's damn tasty.

Engagement Chicken* - adapted from Glamour Magazine.
makes one chicken, of course

Gorgeous, right?? That's a photogenic chicken - and it's not even moving! Props to the Benji - good job baby

Ingredients :

  • 1 whole chicken
  • some lemons, I used 2 large ones
  • 1 large yellow onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Liberal applications of ground cumin 
  • Herbs (I used rosemary, sage, some parsley, and some oregano
  • Sliced potatoes, baby carrots, and perhaps other root veg if you have it around
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder (ultimate thickener for sauce - try it if you haven't!)
Directions :

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry chicken well. Salt and pepper liberally inside and out of the chicken. Take one lemon and squish it around on the counter to juice it up inside (it ends up steaming the chicken from inside). Using a knife or a fork, pierce the lemon many times and shove it in the business end of the chicken. Follow the lemon with half an onion and you're done with the inside.

Place the chicken breast side down in the pan.

Chop up your veg and spread around the chicken, give a good spray with cooking spray, and season well. Dice your herbs and rub over the chicken's skin on both sides. Finally, squeeze a second lemon over the chicken and throw the peels in the veg.

before beautification

Toss in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then remove and reduce temp to 350. Turn the chicken over, so the breasts are up (hehe). Cook until a probe inserted into the thigh reaches 165 degrees.

While your lovely husband is convincing himself he knows how to carve a chicken (though he's really just mutilating the poor girl), heat the pan sauces in a sauce pot with a little bit of the arrowroot powder to thicken. 

Pour the gravy over your chicken to serve. Or directly into your mouth - I won't judge ;)

Happy Friday, everyone!

*results not guaranteed.

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