28 January 2010

life is good, but busy

I look back at my blog activity over the last year and realize that yes, life is crazy right now. These three urchins have everything to do with it, but I am so thankful that it is not crazy in a bad way.

I've been cooking a lot - it is very much my therapy. If i go a few days without cooking, for whatever reason, i start to crave just chopping up an onion, the mindless stirring of making a roux.

My latest project was to learn to roast chickens. We have a dear friend who brings us roast chickens whenever we have a baby (which translates to six roast chickens so far). Sometimes Paul says we have to have a fourth so we can get more chickens.

I decided I didn't want to end up with 14 children because of the chicken craving, so I've been reading about it and trying to understand all the ins and outs of actually creating something yummy from just a whole bird - well, someone kindly lopped off the head and the feet for me.

I'm not now, nor do i think I ever will be, ready for lopping off feet.

And I've done it! For those out there who don't eat meat, this might just change your mind. The lemony, juicy goodness is hard to beat, but more than that, i feel like such a non-waster because then i can make broth from the remains. So eco-friendly I am with my industrially produced chickens.

My favorite food writer, Nigella Lawson (yes, if you've not read her and love a well put together sentence and/or love food, you need to buy all of her stuff. I'm steadily collecting and have been known to get in bed with one like a damn novel), says she pretty much roasts chickens every week, if not more often than that. I thought that was insane because of two reasons.

1 - i thought it must be a giant pain the tail to roast a chicken

2 - chicken isn't that good.....

But, alas, I should have believed dear Ms Lawson long before. She was right. I'm having a hard time waiting a week between roastings. It's just so easy and so so yummy.

So, rather than explain the process, I'm going to challenge all of you out there to go and read about roasting chickens. Tomorrow, or the next day, I'll hopefully do a very in depth post all about all the (six) detailed steps.

love from busy land!


  1. Here's my schedule for roast chickens.
    Day 1. buy chicken on a good sale, aim for $0.59 or thereabouts. If chicken can't be found fresh at the grocery, I always have a bird or two in the freezer. Commence defrosting.
    Day 2. rinse the bird, pull the innards out. Remove the wishbone using a combination of fingers and knife, then use kitchen shears to cut down the back bone. Spread the chicken out and season with a homemade rub; sprinkle with olive oil. Prepare veggies:garlic, carrots, onions, white potatoes and sweet potatoes. Pop in the oven for 2 hours (give or take) at 325 or 350. I never can remember. Dinner is all in one dish (I often throw in some cabbage wedges in the last hour of roasting so that we'll have a green veggie.)
    Day 2: take one chicken breast that's leftover and turn into chicken salad (add dried fruit, pecans or walnuts, chopped green onion and colored peppers, a dab of mayo and some dijon mustard.)
    also on Day 2: make stock with bones after removing remainder of the chicken from the bones.
    Day 3: use stock and remaining chicken to make the most wonderful pot pie. If I'm not in the mood to make crust (from scratch), I'll often make chicken soup instead.

    With each chicken, I'll get two or three hearty meals and I rarely spend over $3 per chicken.

    We should compare our rub/seasoning recipes.

  2. Oops, meant to put Day 3 for chicken salad and stock-making. Day 3 or 4 for the pot pie or soup. That means three days of actual chicken meals, since the first day is usually defrosting the bird for me.