I hope everyone had a great holiday and or weekend the past few days. Mostly, if you were with your family, I hope everyone emerged unscathed.
We had a very non-traditional turkey day this year which, contrary to popular belief did not cause the Rapture to come early (so you’ve still got that to look forward to in 2012). No family, no friends, no turkey, no stuffing, no pie (NEVER pumpkin pie anyway)…not even a football game. Don’t go revoking my citizenship just yet. There WAS a traditional Thanksgiving fete originally planned with Turkey and all the alcoholic trimmings but it just was not to be this year.
The first sabotage attempt on our annual friends dinner was made when my girlfriend announced we were going to a local seafood restaurant for the big dinner. I won’t repeat what Craig announced he would do at said restaurant if we actually went through with that plan, but let’s just say that the restaurant idea was a short lived one. The next plan was for me to make the bird (as per the norm) and everyone else would divvy up the sides and desserts. Dinner on! Then, the hostess needed to fly cross country for some family stuff. Time for a change (of course the bird had been ordered). Then, I get hit with walking pneumonia…which progressed a bit further than that and I put the kibosh the dinner with all the trimmings.
I did, however, have a chicken that I had purchased on one of my outings so I knew we wouldn’t be stuck eating some kind of takeout pizza on Thursday. I realize that chicken is no substitute for turkey, but two people have no business cooking up a 16 pound turkey. I had been contemplating making a dry brine roasted turkey for the big day, so I thought why not just make a dry brine roasted chicken instead? Smaller bird, same technique, no big deal. Plus, since I already had all of the ingredients, I didn’t have to leave the house. Being sick and not having showered does not leave one very motivated to leave the house. Let’s not forget that it’s been super warm here in LA, so you can’t exactly cover up like the Uni-Bomber to go out of the house and go unrecognized by your neighbors.
Last week, I told you that I was working on ways to streamline my life and the projects therein. When I posted those winter squash recipes, you were able to get two meals from one basic preparation. (Which is so utterly important this time of year given that the holiday’s leave you little time to spend on any one thing). This easy chicken recipe will see you through at least one dinner plus lunch, depending on how many people you’re trying to feed. Plus, if I was going to go through the effort of actually making dinner, I didn’t want it to be for a one time meal. When I’m sick, no one’s taking care of me. (hint…hint…Craig….)
This dry brine roast chicken is actually the base recipe for all those dry brine turkey recipes you were hearing so much about this year. Chef Judy Rodgers, of Zuni Cafe in San Francisco, was making this roasted chicken recipe back in 2005. From that evolved the turkey that graced practically every food magazine and newspaper section this year. I didn’t have her exact recipe, so what I did was based on the turkey recipe that was available.
Of all the roasted chicken recipes that I make, and I’ve got a few, this one is by far my favorite. It’s easy, it uses up leftovers (the salt rub I used on this was some leftover turkey brine mixture that I had – which is perfect because it’s got lots of herbs and seasonings in it), the meat comes out super moist, both the light and dark meat has a tremendous amount of flavor and clean up could not be easier. What’s even better about this recipe is Craig LOVES it. Believe it or not, he wrinkles his nose up whenever he hears me say that I’m making roasted chicken. He finds it to be kind of boring. Not that he doesn’t inhale it, it’s just not his favorite. The other night, when he had his first bite of the chicken he asked me how much was left and when I was going to be making it again. He swears he didn’t say this to me just because I was sick.
It’s Monday, I’m feeling a bit better so I thought I would pass along my cheerful and helpful spirit by saving you some money this holiday season. There’s an IPhone app that’s available called A-Hole Tester. Yes, for 99 cents you can have your phone tell you what you’re friends have been telling you for months, and your own 6th sense has been telling you for just as long – Yes, the guy you are dating is an A-Hole.
So for those of you looking to save some $$ or don’t have an IPhone…I am coming to your rescue. If you can answer yes to any one of these 5 questions he is, in fact, an A-Hole and you should have one last good roll in the sack with him and then kick him to the curb. Think of all the additional money you’ll save this holiday. Money you can use to buy those GORGEOUS shoes you’ve been eyeballing.
- Have you been dating longer than 3 months and not met his friends?
- Have you been dating longer than 3 months and you have not woken up in the same place together when the sun comes up?
- Does he explain away that blinking red light in his bedroom as being something on his TV? (poke around for a camera – I’m just throwing that out there)
- Do his eyes glaze over when you are telling him something important from your day?
- Does he refuse to spend any time around your friends?
Recipe: Dry Brine Roast Chicken
- 1 4- 5 Pound Chicken
- 2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt (or Turkey Brine Salt)
- 1 Medium Onion (quartered)
- 1 Medium Lemon (quartered)
- 1 Handful Celery Leaves or other Herbs (optional)
- Rinse the chicken inside and out and at it dry.
- Sprinkle the inside of the chicken lightly with salt. Place the chicken on its back and salt the breasts, making sure that the thickest part of the breast meat is well salted.
- Turn the chicken to its side and sprinkle with salt, concentrating on the thigh. Flip the bird over and repeat the salting.
- Place the chicken into a sealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible and seal tightly.
- Place the chicken breast side up in the refrigerator.
- Chill over night.
- The next day, turn the chicken over and gently massage the salt mixture on the thighs (you can do this through the bag). Return the bird back to the refrigerator.
- On the next day, remove the chicken from the bag. At this point, you won’t see any salt crystals on the skin, and there won’t be much moisture in the bag, but the skin will still appear somewhat moist.
- Place the chicken breast side up on a plate and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 8 hours or over night.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and leave it, undisturbed, so that it can come to room temperature. This should only take 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.
- Place the chicken breast side up in a 9×13 roasting pan.
- Stuff the chicken with the onions, lemons and herbs.
- Roast until a thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the thigh, but not touching the bone, reads 170-175 degrees, about 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and let sit for at least 20 minutes so that all of the juices can re-settle and stay in the bird when you cut into it.
I used a jar of salt and seasonings turkey brine mixture that I had on hand. I like the mix because it has lots of herbs in it that can then flavor the chicken. But plain old kosher salt works just fine.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 15 minute(s)
Diet tags: Reduced fat, High protein, Gluten free
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: USA (General)