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Friday, January 21, 2011

Chicken Fest

If you recall, back in November, I roasted a chicken. Remember? I roasted a whole chicken, left my iPad at Whole Foods, and gave the Husband (and myself) reason to believe that we might need to start shopping around for a more responsible household CEO. (Good luck finding one who'll work for free!)

Back in my library days I had a colleague who loved the Barefoot Contessa. He told me on more than one occasion that her roasted chicken recipe is pure perfection. You can find the recipe here.

It was by chance that I finally tried the recipe. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had planned to buy a roast chicken for $6.99, the Monday special at my local Whole Foods. However, I arrived too early; the chickens were still in the oven.  Feeling oh so resourceful, I pulled up the Barefoot Contessa recipe on my iPad (which I don't usually have with me at the supermarket because I'm afraid I'll lose it. Hmmmm...certainly a realistic fear!). I purchased the ingredients and a disposable roasting pan, and went on my merry way, so excited about the fortuitous birth of Chicken Fest 2010 that I parked my shopping cart in the return corral and all but skipped back to my car, oblivious to the fact that I had abandoned the family iPad.

Several hours later, abashed and annoyed, yet grateful to have the iPad back in my possession, I assembled all the ingredients and followed the recipe to a tee.

Before going any further, I have to say, I was a vegetarian for about three years back in my 20s. (Who wasn't?)  And seriously, although I realize that I made the choice to go back, I was not very happy when meat made its way back into my life and then back into my diet. For the most part I really don't enjoy eating meat all that much. I'm not sure why.  And what I really, really don't enjoy is handling raw meat, especially raw meat that resembles the animal it once was. (Ground beef is one thing, but a whole chicken? With skin and bones, and a sack full of giblets inside...Yikes!)

Nevertheless, I have decided that if I am a meat eater (I am) and if I am serving this to my family as food (again, I am) then I must be willing to see it and touch it with my hands and know that a life was given for our sustenance, you know? (Okay, I realize I might have just lost some of you, but for whatever reason, saying that was important to me...I would love to hear from others about post-vegetarianism guilt!)

Moving on...let me get back to that day in November: I rolled up my sleeves, rinsed that chicken, patted it dry, and then stuffed its cavity as if I were Ina Garten herself, making dinner for Jeffrey and a handful of other sophisticated friends:

My finished product was a little beauty:

When I prepared this meal, we were swimming in a surplus of squash and root vegetables. That night dinner consisted of roasted chicken, whole wheat couscous, some steamed greens, and (much to the Husband's distaste) roasted radishes and turnips:

Losing the iPad was dumb, but roasting a chicken (once I was done touching the raw parts!) felt smart, especially because I was able to use the leftovers in three other recipes.

Chicken Nachos, White Chicken Chili, and Chicken Stock to follow...


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