I suppose this is a realy bad angst to have days before Thanksgiving. When I have to deal with an 18 pound piece of poultry. With no head. Yeah. I have issues. I am trying. Really, really trying.
I grew up around farms. I know the circle of life. This shouldn't bother me. But it does. I even went vegetarian for a couple of years to avoid the animal thing.
My most horrifying chicken moment came during a trip to Shanghai several years ago. There was this one restaurant where we ate family style and one of the first courses was a chicken soup. Made with a whole chicken - as in it had it's feet and head still attached. Every time the ladle dipped down into the pot to scoop out some soup, those little feet and that hollowed-out head popped from over top of the bowl - which of course was sitting right in front of me. Now, not many foods throw me off like that. But to this day, the sight of those little feet quivering over top of the pot are enough to make my stomach go sour and my body to break out in a cold sweat.
All of this was said to reiterate my statement that I have poultry issues. And I had to make a chicken.
But Dorie said to roast a chicken. And I like chicken. But I had to prepare it. I had to stick my hands in its cavity. I had to stuff herbs under the skin - thyme, rosemary and sage were my choices. I had to dry it and touch it. And. EWWWW. The things I do.
I get a little woozy looking at these pictures.
I looked in the microwave/ bread storage place (weird, I know) and there were no good bread remnants (just a sad loaf of store-bought sandwich bread I picked up in a weak moment), so I baked off a baguette of whole wheat rosemary-flax bread. I thought the sturdiness of it would stand up well to the dish.
I survived getting the chicken into the oven. It was a relief to get to the point of being able to chop up the nice, sweet vegetables. Nice, safe vegetables. That don't come after me in my sleep. (Thank you very much).
I know that I must address the bread bed. I used three pieces of the flax baguette shown above. Apparently, I did not strike the perfect balance between my liquids and roasting. I had the soggy mess. However, it was a tasty, soggy mess - albeit somewhat salty due to the salt crust I had rubbed on Mr. Chicken.
I totally ignored the fact that my chicken had a liver. Sorry. I have my limits - even in the name of food.
The little guy was very tender and had lovely flavor. In fact, it was good enough that I made it again the following week - in pairs.... Which means I had to touch TWO chickens - still feeling a little queasy from that experience (by the time Thanksgiving is over, I am sure I will have gone through multiple bottles of Pepto...). But in the name of good chicken, I will conquer my fears. This time around I used an anodized steel roasting pan.
This time, I am very happy to report that my bread beds came out as promised. And because I made two chickens, I had two beds. To share... (One for me and one to split up between everyone else - that seemed fair, right? After all, I am the one who had to TOUCH the chicken.)
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. Come check out what all the other FFWD'ers are up to!