“The price of anything is the amount of time you exchange for it.” Henry David Thoreau
One of my recent goals is to become a good cook. I’m not talking great, I’m talking good. I want my friends and family to leave the table after a meal (not during) and feel cared for and satisfied. I want my meal preparations to be a gift to those who dine with me.
Are you out of your mind! I have enough trouble finding time to open a box of mac and cheese!
I understand. Been there. But I’ve moved into my golden years and if I don’t learn to do something a bit different in the kitchen right now I’m going to be stuck eating the same food that I’ve been eating for over 50 years, namely, my usual cooking. Which leads me to discuss my TV habits.
For the longest time I’d only watch NFL. If I wanted to watch a PBS series that everyone was raving about (Downton Abbey) I’d get the DVD’s from the library and have a binge weekend. However, I’ve lately been watching PBS Newshour every evening in order to try and keep up with national news. Good luck with that! And sometimes, the cat would sit on my lap during the hour.
So your cat has something to do with your TV viewing habits, or is it your cooking? Well, one evening the cat was so comfy that I decided not to disturb her and watch additional TV. And what to my wondering eyes should appear by America’s Test Kitchen. It was my first time viewing the show. On the show they were featuring the correct way to work with cast iron pans and recipes for making crisp roast butterflied chicken and NY strip steaks. I was hooked.
Needless to say I ordered a 12-inch cast iron skillet and bought a whole chicken and some fresh rosemary. I also ordered their cookbook, which weighs about the same as the cast iron skillet. Good stuff!
When the skillet arrived I decided to make the chicken for lunch the next day when a friend was coming to visit. Boy, would she surprised when she walked in to the aroma of crispy chicken. Of course, we all know that high expectations are the precursor to something hitting the fan. And here we go!
First of all, I purchased the chicken before I read the recipe and found that my 4.5 pound chicken was more than their recommendation of a 3.5 to 4 pound chicken. I did, however, follow their recommendation, from the TV show, to place the pan into a cold oven and set the oven to 500 degrees, wait 30 minutes, and then proceed with a screaming hot pan and a silicon handle cover which got almost as hot as the pan. Double hot pads were needed, two on each end of the pan in order to lift it.
When the pan was finally hot and the chicken was oiled and in place I turned the oven down to the recommended temperature. It was only going to be a short 30 minutes before the chicken was ready to flip. Immediately, the chicken began to sizzle and spit. Before I knew it the inside of the oven was coated with grease and smoke was seeping out of the oven. Thirty minutes later the chicken was ready to flip and doors to the outside were propped open so that some of the smoke might escape the kitchen.
My friend arrived and the smoke had cleared enough so our eyes weren’t watering. We sat down to a meal of crisp roast chicken, salad, and roasted cauliflower with onion and red pepper. I was in my “never again” mood until I took my first bite of the chicken. We both agreed that it was some of the finest chicken we ever had. Would I make it again? I have a self-cleaning oven. Why not? Did I remember to take a picture?
Loveya – The Grandma
Artist, African hand drum student, yoga neophyte, and Grandmother of 22 or so grandchildren. I enjoy cooking and writing. I value good friends and quiet times for reading.