Sunday, March 10, 2013

roasted chicken with wild rice and lentils

Many things happen in the little kitchen that defy logic or reason. Like what have I been doing for the past 3 weeks? I've been cooking like crazy, I've finally got internet in the little kitchen and I still haven't managed to post anything. In fact, these days I've been obsessively meticulous in planning my marketing and cooking, bookmarking recipes in my massive stack of library cookery books and magazines, making lists, lists and more lists. Pondering, googling and planning the purchases of exotic ingredients and the much promised challenge to re-visit vegetables I'd previously deemed  "blech!" so that I may re-discover them in a magically enlightening new way-ocd/add kitchen could be the sub-title of this blog.
Then I tossed all of that aside. I just wanted to roast a chicken-not once but twice this week. When the mood hits, I pull out one my favorite cookbooks, Ruhlman's Twenty. His reverence for the humble chicken is inspiring. Not only do I love his recipe, I love this method...and well, I kinda love Ruhlman too, since ever I first saw him on the Vegas episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and I've been crushing on him ever since. He's hot and he really knows food. That. is. hot.
I did steal  little tip from Cooks Illustrated-pre-heat the skillet as the oven is pre-heating. Be careful though when you place the chicken in the hot skillet. This sears the skin and will leave some of it behind after the cooked chicken is lifted from the pan, thus leaving the beginnings of this most amazingly delicious pan sauce, once again from Ruhlman.

Just after you've put the chicken in the oven, prepare a stock pot with about 6-8 cups of water on the stove top and turn the heat on medium-low. This is a somewhat contraversial method of preparing stock but it's always worked well for me.

Perhaps one may wonder, what does one single person do with a whole roasted chicken? Here's what:
Once the chicken has come out of the oven,  transfer it to a baking sheet to rest and get started on the pan sauce.
Carve the entire chicken, removing and separating all of the meat (white & dark) . Toss the bones, skin and any other questionable bits into the stock pot. Drain any remaining juices into the pan sauce.
 I had the wild rice and lentils left-over from the night before. They were the perfect accompaniment to the chicken breast and pan sauce. This was dinner the night I roasted the chicken. I portioned out the remaining rice, chicken breast and pan sauce into two plastic containers for work lunches.
The shedded thigh meat has ended up in many variations of chicken salad, chicken enchiladas and chicken pot pie. This one became Curry Chicken Salad Wraps. Stay tuned.

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