Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Gourmet Today: more low-hanging fruit

I have roasted a lot of chickens over the years and they were all tasty. The oven temperature, basting, brining, stuffing, slathering with herb butter -- I don't think any of it matters. What matters about roasting a chicken is that you just do it. 

I was thinking about rotisserie chickens. They're usually smaller, not organic and they're a tiny bit oily (a plus, depending on who you ask, and if you ask me, a plus). I think they're delicious, often more delicious than a chicken you roast at home. They're definitely easier and sometimes even cheaper, which is inexplicable.

Still, they're not the same, are they.  They don't pack the symbolic wallop of a whole bird crackling and spitting in a pan in your very own oven. Rotisserie is fine for picnics, but for a family dinner, you need to roast your own.

My roundabout way of saying the salt-roast chicken from Gourmet Today was very tasty, if not worth the price of the book.
The red wine/maple-glazed carrots I made as an accompaniment might have been more popular had I not used giant, woody carrots from the plastic bag in the crisper. They tasted overripe, oversweet, unwholesome. How could they not? They are as old as my children. I need to upgrade to the long, skinny, fresh carrots with leaves attached like we ate this weekend at a party, and which tasted like carrots, not mashed yams. 

I hope the hens, at least, enjoyed the carrots. They are definitely not enjoying this mad rainstorm, have been huddled underneath the coop all day, monitoring the weather. One of them, Angel, made it to her "secret" nest in the ivy and I found her there sitting on a warm egg at 9 a.m.. She was drenched, her usually jaunty, bright-white feathers sodden and mud-spattered and she appeared very scrawny without her fluffy plumage. I carried her back down to her compatriots, where she has remained. They must be very cold and hungry and as soon as I'm done with this post I'm going to take them some treats.
Storm should continue for a bit. There have been mudslide warnings, flood warnings, power outages, the constant screaming of ambulances in the distance. I stayed in all day and finished a long, annoying, exhausting novel that I had to write about, and did. The experience so drained and depressed me that instead of doing something practical I picked up a book I don't have to write about but thought I would love. And I do. That book is Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder and it is similar in subject matter to Dave Eggers' What is the What, but it's non-fiction and better. 

Brought in the last of the summer garden yesterday. Some of the white eggplants turned yellow, which was weird.
Tonight, we're having tomato soup, if I can ever rise from the couch.


  1. Carrots have always been a no-no with my children, unless they are raw!

  2. I wonder what color the flesh will be inside the yellow eggplant? I suppose there is no reason it should be another color, but I am curious.

  3. My favorite way to roast chicken is to rub the outside with dark soy sauce, then sprinkle salt and garlic powder on all over. Makes for a tasty, tasty skin and a nice garlicy-smelling kitchen.

  4. Those brine recipes are great, except the doctor has told hubby to cut out all added salt. We need a turkey recipe that doesn't involve soaking it in salt water. Hubby is currently suffereing from soy sauce withdrawal. Sushi just doesn't taste the same.

  5. yellow eggplant means that it is overripe. they all do that