Tag Archive: poultry

So, personally, I enjoy cooking, but I don’t much care for (read: “I loathe”) standing over a hot stove for many, many hours waiting for chicken stock to finish doing its thing in a pot. So, I took advantage of one of man’s many great inventions and fished out my crock pot.

You may recall my post from Wednesday last week, wherein I described the rendering of a chicken into an edible dinner of epic adventure (or perhaps the epic adventure of rendering a chicken into an edible dinner). But what to do with the carcass when we were finished? Why, waste not, want not! I promptly stuck the carcass, pan-drippings and all, in a box in the fridge and left it there while we traipsed off to Darkover.

Yesterday, we went shopping, and I acquired a fair bucket-full of vegetables from our local Wegman’s. Some of these I have since whacked into little bits and stuck in my Crock Pot alongside the aforementioned chicken carcass, jellied pan-drippings and all, and the leftover chicken leg that I didn’t get around to eating. I chopped up two stalks of celery, two medium-sized carrots and one rather large sweet onion. Additionally, I added some more salt, a fair sprinkling of rosemary, and two bay leaves. Poured over this mess was 6 cups of cold, filtered water, which is about all I could get into my little 3-1/2 quart crock pot without causing it to overflow.

I set the crock pot on low at around 8:30 last night; if I so chose, I could probably strain it now, but I think I’ll wait a little longer – it’s making my kitchen smell rather lovely right now!

So, tonight I decided we’re having chicken. Chicky tits are generally pretty flavorless (thank you, Catherynne Valente), but if you subject them to curry, or batter and a deep-fryer, they’re pretty palatable. Tonight, however, I didn’t want to go to all that effort to render what usually amounts to a “kindergarden eraser” edible, so I bought and roasted a whole chicken.

First, I spatchcocked the bird. Well, actually, first I set the oven to preheat to 375. Then I spatchcocked the bird. This involved a few minutes of wrestling with the bird’s spine and a pair of scissors, before I finally just grabbed the backbone and (rather messily) ripped it out. After that, I promptly flipped it on its back, splayed, and pressed my (not inconsiderable) weight down on the sternum until that snapped in twain and the bird lay flat on the cutting board. I splashed some olive oil in my larger cast iron pan (since I don’t have a mister), and spread it around a bit. Once the pan was coated, I plopped the chicken, breast up, in the pan, then tucked the backbone under the legs.

I ground up some rosemary and a ‘Garlic & Herb’ mix that Angel has in my little stone mortar. After dribbling and spreading olive oil all over the bird, I spread the herb mixture on the bird and rubbed it in. Apparently, I didn’t rub it in well enough, ’cause when I splashed a healthy couple of glugs of white wine over the bird, it carried off a fair bit of the herbs.

After covering the pan with aluminum foil, I popped it in the oven. Since I was referencing this recipe, I figured 9 minutes per pound would work out okay, and promptly set the oven for just shy of an hour for the ~6.5-pound chicken. When the timer when off, I removed the foil, took a good, healthy whiff of a wonderful scent, and then set the timer for another 15 minutes. I let the bird rest on the cutting board for about ten minutes before I had at it with my cutlery. (I really, really need to get a proper carving knife; perhaps that will be my Bir-Hanu-Mas present to myself.)

It was most yum – needed a pinch of salt and some more pepper ground on it, but it came out rather well. I needed to cook the legs and thighs a little longer; I think 20 minutes after uncovering will work well enough, or perhaps 10 minutes per pound  instead of 9, but a brief stint in the nuke fixed up the legs enough that I could enjoy them. Tomorrow morning, I’m dumping the pan drippings, the backbone, the wingtips and the remainder of the carcass into the stockpot with a bunch of water and some veg – perhaps I’ll be able to turn out a decent stock from this, too!

And, pix or it didn’t happen:

Not bland and tasteless!