Thursday, January 19, 2012

The many lives of my roasted chicken

I have always been a bargain hunter, even in flush times, and never too proud to share my cleverly gotten gains with others, or my mad-project-runway-iron-chef-skills.
someone: "I love that jacket!"
me: "GOODWILL two dollars!"
or "thanks! I made it outta placemats"
I  had to run into Fresh & Easy for bread and dish soap but I can never resist doing the clearance drive-by, challenging the kitchenista into imagining all sorts of  iron chef concoctions. This one was a no-brainer.  A whole chicken and and a bag of tortillas for less than $5.  Sweet!
As soon as I got the chicken home, I cleaned it and dropped it into a brine(1/2 c. salt, 1/2 sugar and 2 quarts of water) for several hours and put some black beans in the crock pot before heading back out for the day. It was 10 pm before I got that chicken in the oven.  While that was roasting, I caramelized a big batch of onions and roasted 2 red peppers in the broiler. An hour later plus a few minutes to rest, the meat is separated from the bones (which go into the dutch oven with water and set on a low heat to slooooowly transform into stock), following a process I got on Just the carcass and water for the first several hours (4-6) on a very low heat. The temperature should reach no higher than 160 degrees thus never reaching a boil. Add the vegetables and aromatics for the last hour.
Some form of chicken sandwich comes first. This one involves some rocket tossed in a little agave dijon dressing, the above mentioned caramelized onions and roasted peppers. This probably isn't the kind of sandwich you'd want to wrap up and take with you for later. It's too wet, buuuuut I recently got hooked on F & E's white bread which is surprisingly dense and moist (makes a killer grilled cheese). I did take this on the road with me and though it was a little soggy from the onions by the time I got around to it, it still held together and tasted divine. Best to prepare for immediate consumption.

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