Scarlet Letters

The not-so-private thoughts and rants of Elizabeth Donald, journalist/author and founder of the Literary Underworld.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Culinary Vacation, Day One

So I don't have the money to go anywhere or, y'know, do anything. But I do have a week off work. I have an apartment full of two adults' crap to consolidate. And I have a larder full of food.

I'm going to do three things this week: Sort and organize the apartment. Work on the book. And try new recipes all week. You know how you always have a pile of recipes you never got around to doing? The menfolk will be eating well this week.

Today's Experiment: Herb-Basted Chicken

Assessment: This is a very simple recipe that is also very economical if you are a spice freak like me and have all these things hanging around in your cabinet. Lemongrass and herbes de provence, baby, I have it all. Therefore the actual cost of this was somewhere around a buck eighty for the chicken, as long as you don't have to run out and buy marjoram.

Ingredients:
4 bone-in chicken breast halves with skin
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. minced onion
1 clove crushed garlic
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. rosemary
1/4 tsp. sage
1/4 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. hot pepper sauce (opt.)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl, combine olive oil and spices. I omitted the hot pepper sauce because I am a heat wuss. Turn chicken breasts in sauce to coat thoroughly. Place skin side up in a shallow baking dish.

Roast covered for 35-45 minutes, basting occasionally with pan juices. Remove to warm platter, spoon pan juices over and munch. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

Verdict:
Om nom nom. First, I didn't cover the dish, and the skin crisped nicely. Second, while it was cooking the chicken gave off the most wonderful smells that lingered in the apartment for hours. And, of course, it was tasty beyond belief. The skin with all those spices was good, of course, but I was also pleased at how tender and flavorful the chicken meat was as well.

It'll be a few hours yet before J gets home and heats up his portion, but he's pretty easy to feed. Regardless, this one is strongly recommended. It would be great with stuffing or rice; you could spoon the juices onto it as well. And did I mention the chicken was cheap?

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