Sunday was a productive day. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you free up the part of your mind that has been devoted to the Saints for the last 18 months. I’m still disappointed they lost, but I’m getting over it more quickly than I might have expected. I got all the Christmas stuff put away, made yet another attempt to secure the fence against our Houdini-like puppy’s escape prowess, and completed lots of little projects around the house. Dinner was sort of thrown together from what we had on hand.
I roasted a chicken I had thawed during the ‘clean out the freezer’ project. Into the cavity went some fresh thyme and sage from the garden (they are apparently both very freeze-tolerant), smashed garlic cloves, and a small lemon. I then trussed the chicken (always, always truss!) and seasoned liberally with kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper (also in the cavity).
I put some thick slices of onion in a 10″ cast iron skillet, set the chicken on top of the onions, breast-side up, and placed into a pre-heated 350 degree oven. After 25 minutes, I removed the skillet and flipped the breast-side down, and returned to the oven. After 25 minutes more, I removed and flipped again, added some butter to the breast and the skillet, returned to the oven and increased the heat to 400 degrees for 25 minutes more before removing from the oven and resting prior to carving.
This was a small chicken- about 3.5 lbs. A larger chicken would cook a little longer; the only way to be sure is to use a thermometer. The chicken turned out well, but next time I will smear the whole thing with softened butter before roasting, as the buttered breast browned more richly than the rest of the skin. Under normal circumstances, I would have basted with the pan juices during the last 25 minutes, but I was outside getting poked by a holly bush as I tried to secure the fence.
I had some quail that were inadvertently thawed after a ‘freezer-door incident’, so I split them along the breastbone, dredged in heavily seasoned flour, and skillet-fried them. They were delicious! They cooked quickly, only about 2.5 minutes per side. Remember to salt anything you fry immediately once it comes out of the oil.
Jen put together a sort of ‘slaw’, from roughly grated green apple and kohlrabi, dressed with a little plain yogurt, vinegar, and salt and pepper. It was tasty, although I might use a slightly sweeter apple next time. Kohlrabi is really amazing stuff- I’ll have to do another post on it at a future date.
Leftover dirty rice completed the meal, along with our last bottle of Mandolina wine from our trip to Santa Barbara last summer. It is an interesting winery, which produces traditional Italian style wines near Santa Barbara. We bought a couple of cases at the tasting room in Solvang, CA.