I have a confession to make. I am a city girl. I buy my food at the grocery store. While I may have purchased some fruits, veggies and pickled items at the local farmer’s market, I have never before bought any local meat. But then I bought the gold-plated chicken, all $4.35/lb of it.
This chicken is my second this month. I’m feeling pretty confident. My first regular old grocery store chicken turned out pretty well. I liked it. Jamie tolerated it. Things were good. I’ve roasted meat and variety of vegetables. They all turned out pretty well. I can handle another chicken. I have a plan.
The chicken has been thawing in the fridge since Wednesday. I poked it and it seemed unfrozen. No worries. I’ll start with the vegetable base. Potatoes, onions, garlic and some mushrooms to try something new. I squeezed some lemon juice on those bad boys, drizzled a little olive oil and salted and peppered liberally. Done.
I got the chicken out of the fridge. Took off the plastic. Laid it on the cutting board. Picked it up to flip it over. OH MY GOD IT HAS A NECK! I dropped that chicken, neck first, into the bowl it had been defrosting in like it was made of fire, and ran into the bathroom. That’s right folks, I ran into the bathroom to hide from my chicken.
I called for Jamie and told him he needed to get the neck off. Trooper that he is, he chopped off the top. Then he Googled how to get the rest off and learned that you pretty much needed to twist the neck and pull. I put on my big girl panties, got that chicken neck off and that was all the bravery I had. By this time I knew what was going on, and there was no way that the insides were going to be tidily wrapped in a plastic bag like the grocery store chicken. So I told Jamie stick his hand in the thing to pull out whatever was hiding in there. He wrapped his hand in a plastic bag (a bit wussy, but really, who am I to judge? I was still hiding in the bathroom), stuck it inside and declared it “good enough”. Good enough for me. Onto the cooking.
Inside I stuffed some basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, onion, garlic, and lemon. I rubbed the outside and under the skin with some Tuscan Herb olive oil, salted and peppered the whole thing, and into the oven it went.
Now the farmer/small child who sold me the chicken gave me cooking instructions. They clearly state to cook it in a 350 degree oven for 18 minutes per pound and that I should not trust a thermometer, but follow the cooking time. Okay, you’re the boss.
It was perfect. Brown and lovely. Nice and crispy. Now I just had to carve it. I still don’t know how to do this. One of these days, I’ll learn how, but the neck had taken too much out of me for it to happen today.
I also roasted some asparagus: olive oil, salt, pepper and a little lemon juice after cooking.
Dinner is served.
(I don’t know why all my pictures are blurry today. I’ll work on it for next time, I promise.)
All in all, it was a pretty good chicken. Jamie liked the texture of the meat better than the grocery store chicken. It was definitely moist and the skin was fantastic.
Things I learned:
1. Chickens from farms still have the necks on them. This is horrifying.
2. I am a wuss and may need to give up my dreams of learning to butcher.
3. I should have cut the potatoes smaller. They were a little under done. The lower cooking temperature may have been part of the problem as well.
4. I should have made a pan sauce. It was just too much after the neck.
5. I didn’t think it was any better than the grocery store chicken. (Sorry Marisa.)
I’m not going to lie. I’m really starting to look forward to eggs.