8.17.2009

How to roast a chicken (Observations from a recently converted vegetarian)

first roast chicken
Our first roast chicken. We ate it all, and made soup stock with the leavin's.

green beans

One cool thing about being vegetarian for nearly ten years, is that when you stop being vegetarian, you are welcomed by an entirely new world of cooking adventures. In the vegetarian world, I thought I was a real big deal, gloating over my homemade seitan noodle soup or flawlessly pan-fried tofu. These days, I'm eating birds. Until recently, I didn't really know what to do with a bird. Especially a featherless one with it's severed neck up its ass. It's a little daunting.

Nevertheless, I feel that if I'm going to commit to eating an animal, I must also endure all of the gory details. I need to recognize that it was once living and breathing, which may easily be lost on someone when today's meat often comes pre-cut, boneless and shrink-wrapped.

I wonder, if I'm okay with eating this chicken, shouldn't I also be prepared to kill one? And I'm not talking a Man vs. Wild scenario - as in, now that I feel comfortable eating a chicken, wouldn't I rather kill and eat a happy, healthy one from my backyard than the mysterious chicken(?) from the grocer's freezer section? Yes, I think I would have the nerve. I hope. If I lacked the gumption, then maybe I should stick with tofu. Not that I'm planning to raise meat chickens or anything (although I wouldn't put it past me) ... just something to ponder.

Now, peering into the chest cavity of this carcass, I swallow hard, realizing that I have to make this good. To come half-stepping with a hasty, ill-conceived plan would be a disgrace to the bird. This chicken died to be eaten - the least I could is fish the soggy bag of guts out of it's rear, stuff it with a lemon and prepare a cozy bed of aromatic vegetables.

I read all about roasting chicken, but just to be sure, I needed to see. I'm a visual learner, and I like to be very prepared. We found this helpful video:




See that chicken? It looks exactly like ours! The how-to was very informative and incredibly simple. We followed the instructions exactly, using simple ingredients like lemon, garlic and thyme to anchor the flavor of the meat. It was perfect. Kurt said it was the best chicken he'd ever eaten. I absolutely agree.

Thank you, chicken. We greatly appreciated it.

8 comments:

  1. There is nothing quite as wonderful as a roasted chicken. I love mine with lots and lots of lemon - it really adds something!

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  2. I agree! We used a whole lemon and it was a dream.

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  3. "See that chicken? It looks exactly like ours! "

    That's what I was gonna say!!

    I usually stick half an onion, half a lemon, and a sprig of rosemary in the hole. So good.

    Also, did you know you can boil the organs and use the broth from that to make delicious, delicious gravy? Try it at thanksgiving if you didn't already.

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  4. yeah, i can't really commit to killing a chicken, etc. which is one of my litmus tests...

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  5. Beth, we used a whole lemon, three garlic cloves and a sprig of rosemary. We actualy gave the organs to the dogs because I didn't know what to do with them. I'll save them next time.

    Robiewan, that's okay. I have a feeling it is a lot harder than I think. If I were ever going to raise turkeys or chickens for eating, I'd probablly make the mistake of naming them ...then loving them ... then I'll be stuck with a coop of new pets. Haha!

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  6. My fav roast chicken recipe ever is a Giada one - Garlic and Citrus Chicken - which I tried to link in this little comment box but can't for some reason, however you can get it by googling. It's pretty similar to yours, but also has oranges in addition to the lemon, and oregano instead of rosemary. So, so, so good. I love roasting a chicken on a Sunday!

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