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Sunday, 11 April 2004

Nanna Knuckles

Now Playing: Rachmaninov, which is perhaps making the chicken assume a greater sense of importance than it should . . .
Topic: LondonLifer

Shyah, right, I can do this.

Simplest Roast Chicken

1 5-6lb chicken,wing tips removed

I read Devil in a Blue Dress, I know that wing tips are a jazzy type of men's shoe.
S'okay, my chicken came with feet ready removed, thank christ (oooh, topical!), no need to worry about footwear.

1 lemon -- halved
4 whole garlic cloves

I may have some of those things. I may have forgotten to use any of them, but the at the time, breaking into the Easter Egg early seemed more tempting than looking up a recipe. So yeah, they're still in the bowl, glowering uselessly at me. Oopsy.

4 tablespoons unsalted butter -- (optional)
Kosher salt to taste

Kosher salt? Is that, like blessed, or something? I don't even have a salt mill, I just hurl lumps of rock salt at things and remember to check before I swallow.

Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup homemade or canned chicken broth -- water,
fruit juice or wine, for deglazing

I'm not really sure what that is, but I once did a paint effect in bright red on my bathroom wall, and it ran down the tiles something dreadful. I had to paint them white when I moved out. I'm sure this experience will prove useful.

1. Place oven rack on second level from bottom. Heat oven to 500 degrees.

I really hope that's the same as 200 degrees. For the simple reason that 200 degrees is the temperature I cook everything, apart from toast. Can't be that different from a pizza.

2. Remove the fat from the tail and crop end of the chicken.

Remove the what? You mean where the chopped off head goes? Fuck off, I'm not touching that. I'm pretending this chicken never had a head, and you can't make me do otherwise.

3. Discard the neck and giblets or freeze for making chicken stock later. Reserve chicken livers for another use.

No you didn't. Rip its flakey neck flaps out?
The fuck you ... the neck?
Ohhh, you think I bought a chicken with it's bits intact. Cool, my no neck chicken is not the norm. Okay.
Shit, I hope there was nothing in a plastic baggy inside it.
I did think of checking, but it seemed rude to stick my hand in and see. I looked, but it was dark up there.

4. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with the lemon, garlic and butter, if using. Season the cavity and skin with salt and pepper.

No bloody way am I putting anything up there. I picked the thing up and it felt like a dead woman's tit, I'm not putting my fingers inside it.
Oh shit, what if that ruins it? Maybe you need stuff inside to make it moist. Ack, it's only been in for an hour - that might make it less like raping a corpse to do it. Um. I'll try. Ready for a shafting, mister lemon?
What if my fingers get burnt? Stuff your hand up a half cooked hot chicken's arse, Vanessa. God, cooking is so prosaic.

Edit: I can't do it. I got it out, and I tried. Well, in the sense that I looked at its hole with dawning horror.
It will have to remain stuffed with a rapidly melting plastic bag full of sub edible offal, no lemon required. Firstly, it's hot, and I'm a wimp, secondly it's clammy, white, dead, and clammy, and I'm a wimp, thirdly, it's an arsehole. I ain't going to go there.

No chicken skin rubbing either - raw chicken skin always reminds me of my granny's fingers while she baked. Last time I saw her, she was in a coffin, and rubbing salt into this chicken's clammy flesh would just confuse the hell out of me. No. The answer is no. Hear me?

5. Place the chicken in a 12-by-8-by-1 1/2-inch roasting pan, breast-side up.

Like I said, I'm growing some cat grass in the roasting pan, inside a drawer in the living room. I'll have to use the grill pan. The rented flat grill pan. Ew. Some scrubbing required. Who knows whose sausages have been squirting onto that thing?

6. Put in the oven legs first and roast 50 to 60 minutes, or until the juices run clear.

The dead chicken wrapping said two hours. Shit. Which is true? Sarah said to baste it every ten minutes. For two hours? I'd never get any bathing done. And it's been a few days, I need a wash.
It's done one hour, so far, and it looks pretty raw to me. No bloody juices. I wonder if humans have juices? Well, apart from the obvious ones. Eww.

Does handling raw flesh always make you think about sex and corpses all at the same time? Butchers must be fucked in the head if that's true. Yeeuch.

7. After the first 10 minutes, move the chicken with a wooden spatula to keep it from sticking.

I tell you, it's an hour later and it's not even that warm, let alone sticking.

8. Remove the chicken to a platter by placing a large wooden spoon into the tail end -

Now I know you are kidding me...

- and balancing the chicken with a kitchen spoon pressed against the crop end.

You mean balance the entire chicken against two wooden spoons? Oh come on, you are having a bubble.

As you lift the chicken, tilt it over the roasting pan so that all the juices run out of the cavity and into the pan. Pour off excess fat from the pan and put the pan on top of the stove. Add the stock or other liquid and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom vigorously with a wooden spoon.

Okay, but I bought a pint of fresh chicken gravy in a microwaveable placcy jar.
I guess I'll just chuck it in if the 'vigorously boiled excess fat' looks too much like the plastic surgeons waste bin in Fight Club.

9. Let reduce by half. Serve the sauce over the chicken or, for crisp skin, in a sauce boat.

So where was the deglazing? What was the damn deglazing?

The Washington Post 12/20/95,from "Roasting: A Simple Art"

Says you.

Makes 4 servings

Or two day's meals if youre a total fucking glutton like me. I may need an emergency second Easter Egg, now.

Note from author Barbara Kafka: "If there is no lemon, garlic or butter on hand, Kafka says, roast the chicken without them. Or play.

I vote play. I have cats, I have string. Shall we play chase, or shall I just truss them now for boiling?

Use peeled shallots or a small onion, quartered. Add a couple of sage leaves or orange wedges.

Yah, yah, yah, I threw all sorts of weird vegetable shit in there with it.
One carrot looks like it's had a bad encounter with some anthrax, but otherwise the whole thing remains resolutely uncooked.

To avoid a smoky kitchen, be sure your oven is clean before you start and use the right-size pan."

Oh. I just opened windows. Can't I just open windows?

That was - why is my chicken still raw? Will it ever stop reminding me of my dead nanna's knuckles?

This page graced by sarsparilla at 5:42 PM BST
Updated: Sunday, 11 April 2004 6:09 PM BST
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Sunday, 11 April 2004 - 6:11 PM BST

Name: sarah
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oh! I totally thought you meant a vegetable roast. Switching the oven on can also help in these circumstances.

Sunday, 11 April 2004 - 6:16 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Fuckit. I'm going to eat chocolate and listen to Ars Amatoria on Radio 3 till I smell burning.

Sunday, 11 April 2004 - 9:56 PM BST

Name: Alana
Home Page:


Deglazing, my darling girl, is the act of loosening the flavorsome bits that managed to get stuck to the surface of the pan whilist cooking. Generally you use wine or vinegar to 'deglaze', but any sort of liquid will do. Usually you add a splash of something, swirl it around and let the liquid simmer until it reduces.

I'd go into salting the cavity of the bird, but I can't tell if you're being snarky. Heh.

Sunday, 11 April 2004 - 11:48 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Oh right. I had all sorts of ideas about gesso and egg white in my head. But yeah, I did that automatically, with some vegetable stock, right before I cheated by pouring some chicken gravy into it.

I was too chickenshit to do anything to its cavity - hell, Im already eating the poor bird, I have to rape it as well? And no, any snarking was unintentional; really dont know what Im doing here.

It tasted deelish, though. Even though it took two and a half hours to cook.

(I cant control the cunting comments, btw!)

Monday, 12 April 2004 - 2:47 PM BST

Name: Paul
Home Page:

I used to LOVE roasting chickens, lots of garlic, onion and brown sugar under the skin, stuffing it with stuffing, wonderful. I used to use a roasting rack when I'd made it, though, so all the juices would run out.

Yeah, I can cook. Wanna fight about it?

And I LOVE shallots, they're the greatest thing since slice bread.

And that picture is horrifically frightening.

Monday, 12 April 2004 - 4:00 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Apparently it's feet and necks, the bits my chicken didn't have. Dunno where the beak gets to.

Sugar is a great idea, I can totally see that working. I never had juices. I think. I had stuff, but there were roasting potatoes and sossies and bacon and carrots and swedes and things around it, so I assumed it was the oil I'd put onto them.

Monday, 12 April 2004 - 4:08 PM BST

Name: sarah
Home Page:

OH AND I AM SO NOT VEGGIE! what do you think I am, some sort of lesbian-identifying-earth-mother-goddess? God, you'll be accusing me of drinking herbal tea next. pfft.

Monday, 12 April 2004 - 5:18 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

I accuse all lesbians I haven't met of squatting in fields and having a wooden leg, don't take it personal.

Goddess?! Lol, was that an edit?

Monday, 12 April 2004 - 5:51 PM BST

Name: Sarah
Home Page:

Sod the cooking, when are you going to blog again so that I don't have to look at that stomach churning uncooked chicken foot picture each time I check back? Ugh!

Monday, 12 April 2004 - 6:09 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

I'm almost entirely nocturnal by now, so I'm just munching on my breakfast and chicken waste lunch. i predict no more blogging till around ten pm...

Monday, 12 April 2004 - 7:01 PM BST

Name: Sarah

10pm chickenshed watershed then? I'll remember that.

Monday, 12 April 2004 - 7:22 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Go on then, a crappy post, with a prettier picture is there for you.

I'm sick of eating chicken now. And the cat just stole a sausage to play footie with.

Monday, 12 April 2004 - 9:55 PM BST

Name: Sarah
Home Page:

I patiently wait until 10pm and now find that you blogged two-and-a-bloody-half hours ago! Bah!

Monday, 12 April 2004 - 11:11 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

Late / early ... just never on time. :)

Tuesday, 13 April 2004 - 6:56 PM BST

Name: Kat
Home Page:

Guess what, chicken-butt? With your aversion of sticking your hand up in there to stuff it, clean it, etc., I'll say you should probably stick to boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Nah, it's not the same as roasted but it cooks in minutes and almost anything you put on it tastes good.

Good grief, that's a lot of chicken necks and whatnot in that bowl.

Tuesday, 13 April 2004 - 10:08 PM BST

Name: Vanessa

I think kebab is what I should stick to. :)

Wednesday, 14 April 2004 - 12:45 AM BST

Name: Jez
Home Page:

You wouldn't enjoy preparing squid very much. You have to cut the beak out and then scoop out the runny-snotlike innards. Tastes good once you're all done, though.

Wednesday, 14 April 2004 - 3:57 AM BST

Name: Vanessa

Holy Hell! Squid has a beak?!

It sounds like the horror that is preparing raw monkfish. Do it once, and you'll never object to paying #9 for two slices of the thing ever again. The chef earns his dough.

Saturday, 17 April 2004 - 8:09 AM BST

Name: Lux
Home Page:

haaaa. That was one of the funniest things I've ever read. Wish i'd read it earlier in the week... coulda used a laugh. Though I wouldn't have the slightest idea how to go about roasting a chicken myself.

But did you really cook it at 200 when it said 500? jeebus.

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