I8tonite: A Simple Roasted Chicken

As I was making my roasted chicken on Friday night, I thought to myself how gloriously easy it is. The only thing I added was the leftover jalapeno and lime compound butter from the grilled London Broil the night before; otherwise it was a simple roasted chicken.

Preheat the oven to about 380 – 390. While the oven does its thing, take a small bird of about 3 – 5 pounds and stuff if with some, salt, pepper, wedges of lemon and onion, garlic and herbs. Put some butter under the skin (optional); drizzle the skin with olive oil. Cover for the first 30 minutes. Uncover to brown. In about an hour, at 12 to 15 minutes per pound. Chicken is done when the juices run clear. (If not done, tent again for another 15 minutes.) In roughly an hour to an hour and a quarter, a herbaceous, citrusy and succulent dinner is on the table (or coffee table in front of the TV or computer) for a party of 2 to 4; possible, leftovers for lunch.

Ostensibly, any home-cook can take this variation and change it. Using only thighs or legs. Breasts. Half-chicken. Quartered chicken. Spatchcocked. Make a bed of all the ingredients and put into the roasting pan. Instead of wedges, cut everything into slices so the chicken lays evenly and place chicken on top. Salt and pepper.  Drizzle olive oil and cover for half of cooking time; uncover for duration. Again, same period of time 12 – 15 per pound. You don’t even have to cover the chicken. I only do it speed up the roasting time with a little steaming before the browning.

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I’m preaching to the choir, me thinks. ….

And here, with the recipe first, dear reader, you will not have to listen to my diatribe about cooking at home. It is such a wonderful thing to cook for yourself (meaning by yourself as a party of one) or your family. Before Nick came along, I was cooking by myself all the time. Experimenting. Changing things up. I love cooking. It gets me out of my head. Stirring. Blending. Roasting. Chopping. I don’t need the audience. I really love to do it.

Recently, on my favorite social media site, someone queried, “If you could leave one thing behind, what would it be?” I answered, “Nothing. Absolutely nothing.”

After writing this, the one thing I would really love to instill is a love of cooking. It separates us from the rest of the species on our planet and yet, it binds us to the world as well.  Our choices in how we eat, what we eat and how it gets to that table is the binding. It’s cyclical.  Cooking encompasses all of our essential human needs in one act. Sharing, loving and caring.

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