Thursday, July 3, 2008

Princess Salmonella part deaux

Y'all.

I'm cookin' a chicken.

I am a little proud/giddy.

Now, one way that I am not domestically impaired is in the kitchen. In fact, I am a pretty good cook. Long ago I worked for a catering company as an event planner, so I know food.

The thing is, during my single, trying-to-impress-a-man-into-marryin-me days, I learned to cook lots of fancy-schmancy stuff - like osso bucco or Puree of Winter Squash Soup of Loooove (I actually made both of those things for my annual Christmas sit-down get dressed up dinner party back when I was still single. Walker was there. You do the math.) And, of course I can make really easy casseroles and crockpot stuff.

But, I can't cook like my mom.

And I am trying to learn because if Mom goes to the grave without me learning how to make her pot roast or broccolli rice casserole or just a good big pot of beans or black eyed peas, that would be a shame.

Plus, puree of winter squash soup is just not really convenient nor appreciated by the preschool set. Plebes.

I have cooked many, many a boneless skinless chicken breast in my time. But this week I decided to be very Proverbs 31 and roast a WHOLE CHICKEN. With the skin on, y'all. And bones in it.

Kinda like Mom used to make.

One problem. The Proverbs 32 Woman hates, hates touching raw chicken. Blech to carcass. And "insert your hand into the cavity and remove the gizzards"? Oh, mercy.

I found this recipe that sounded divine with the wild rice and sauteed pear...ummm. But it also called for me to stuff that gizzardy carcass and stick butter between the skin and the breast. With my fingers. Gulp.

I tried doing it with Kroger bags over my hands but that just doesn't do the trick. So I decided just to pretend I was The Next Food Network Star and get 'er done.

While visions of salmonella danced in my head.

After one slowdown with the stuffing - you'd think it would be obvious to stuff the neck end, right? No. Much, much easier at the other end, just fyi - I did indeed get 'er ('im?) done.

Here she (he?) is, ready to hit the oven.

Before:


(The Pioneer Woman I am NOT. ooo, do you see how she touches that chicken? Oooo!)


You have to baste this. I am not a baster. I am a stick it in the oven and wait for the beep-beep kind of girl. I soon realized that my baster had long gone the way of bacteria-ridden bathtub toys. Ah well. I made do. And 350 degrees for 20 minutes per pound later, s/he came out.

After:



No garnish. Garnish went the way of fancy sit-down dinner parties. S/he still looks pretty, huh??

This is the end you are supposed to stuff, yo:


I made a salad of mixed greens and pine nuts sauteed in the leftover butter/wine/tarragon/rosemary concoction, the Brie from a couple days back, and some fresh plums. Put 'er/'im'/it on a pretty white platter. Call my beloved in. He ooos and ahhs as is befitting, cuts into it and...oops. Pink juices flow. A little, well, not-quite-cooked.

Visions of salmonella...

Thirty minutes of DVR later, we try again. And it was yummo! So, not the greatest thing I have ever cooked, but still, the husband declared it A Keeper.

As Mags would say, Ta-Da!!


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