It's getting close to fall. The kids are back in school. The days are getting shorter. Fragrance commercials are popping up on television, bringing to mind Christmas shopping. That makes me want to cook. Comfort food, long and slow. I get the urge to make a pot roast, simmering for hours in the kitchen. Or a big pot of chili.
Or a roast chicken.
I'd never tried to roast a chicken before. It seemed like it should be difficult, and I like easy cooking. If I want to up the difficulty level, I'll go for baking. I have more experience, and thus more self-confidence, in baking. But I'd been reading about roasting a chicken and I'd heard people talk about it, and I decided I wanted to try it too. On a Saturday. So that Sunday, I could take all the leftovers and toss them into a big pot to make chicken and noodles. Or, if need be, throw the whole disaster out and order a pizza. I was definitely nervous about roasting the chicken. So imagine my dismay when my boyfriend invited friends over to share in the dinner. I love him, but this was not one of his shining moments.
So I did what I do. I read. I read recipes online. I read recipes in books. And I finally took a deep breath, chose a recipe to go with, and gave it a shot.
And it worked. That was some of the best chicken I've ever had. And the big pot of chicken and noodles the next day? It was the most flavorful and easiest chicken broth I've ever made.
Here's the secret: roasting a chicken is easy. It's super easy! You get a chicken, clean it, add some seasonings (we used salt, fresh rosemary, and fresh thyme along with a quartered lemon in the cavity), tie the legs together, and throw it in the oven. And boom! You look like an amazing cook! The recipe I went with is Michael Ruhlman's, from his cookbook Twenty (highly recommended!), with our own choice of herbs.
But now I have a problem. I want to do it again. And again. And again. It's so easy, I would be willing to do it on a weeknight. I think I'm addicted. I've got a chicken on my back. And it's tasty! (Is that too corny? Sorry. I'm tired. I get corny when I'm tired. I'll try to write the next post well rested, ok?)