Monday, December 17, 2007

Another Weekend, Another Packed Suitcase. Le Sigh

In our continued effort to see how few days in December Kyle and I can actually sleep in our own bed, this past weekend we headed down to LA to see my fam. It was all very low key and wonderful, filled with mother-daughter-sister bonding, wedding dress shopping (well, Kyle wasn't so much involved with these two), cable routing (this is what Kyle and my sis's boyfriend did while the girls went dress shopping), wine drinking, and nephew snuggling. It was hectic to be away from home AGAIN, but, really, it was exactly what I needed.

I am still dress-less, but I am definitely getting closer to finding something I love and can afford. I tried on
this dress on Saturday and actually really liked it! AND it costs less than 1/4 of what the first dress cost (less than 1/6 if I buy it online!), so it's currently at the top of my list. I still have a whole month left to buy something without feeling "rushed" so I think I'm gonna keep looking. I'm pretty sure I'll know when it's the right dress and the right time.

When I wasn't tying on white fluffy things, I pretty much spent my time munching on my nephew's adorable toes. THEY ARE SO CUTE! I could just bury my face in each of his little rolls of leg chub and kiss him all day long.

The Girls with Garin
Mom, sis, me, sis-in-law, and the CUTEST BABY ON EARTH. Check out that stylin' adidas track suit!

Aunt Courtney with Baby Garin
Me and my favorite nephew dancing. He gets down with his bad self.

Another cool thing from this weekend: I learned how to roast a chicken!! (Thanks most awesomest sister-in-law, Brigid!) It's easy as pie (except that it's easier than pie and really, I think the saying should go It's easy as roast chicken.) Anyway, it might actually be the easiest main-course I've ever made and it has a HUGE "ooh-aah" factor, which I totally dig, because, hello, presentation is everything. Well, presentation and taste... oh and healthiness... but whatever, this dish has ALL THREE!!!

Instructions: (Well spelled out because this is how I wish everyone wrote their recipes. I need DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS, PEOPLE!)
Buy one "Young Chicken" or "Roasting Hen" from your local grocery store.
Take home and remove from plastic.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Don't bother washing the chicken*.
Do wash your hands.
Place chicken in large-ish pyrex dish. (You know, the big glass rectangle thing, about 2 inches deep?)
Leave the skin on - you can take it off later.
Pour olive oil all over chicken. Both sides!
Rub the oil in. Yes, with your hands. Just do it. This is why they invented soap.
Squirt prepared mustard on to chicken (I used coarse ground Dijon mustard, but plain old yellow mustard would work too)
Sprinkle on some seasoning... Salt and pepper at a minimum, I also used "Poultry Seasoning", which has Thyme, Marjoram, Sage, and Rosemary in it. Really, whatever you have in your cupboard will work.
Again with the rubbing. Both sides.
If any areas of the chicken seems to be lacking once you're done rubbing, just sprinkle some more spices on. I'm pretty sure you can't use "too much" of any of these ingredients... except maybe the salt. We're trying to keep it healthy, remember.
Once the chicken is all seasoned up and ready to go, stick it in the oven, uncovered.
Set timer for one hour.
Kick back while your chicken gets all goldeny brown and delicious.

(Some white wine and/or water poured in the bottom of the pyrex dish about half way through the cooking time will keep the bottom of the dish from getting too caked with black stuff... you just need enough liquid to cover the bottom of the dish - several tablespoons outta do it... or you can just skip this all together.)


If you feel like making a whole meal out of it, stab some potatoes with a fork and stick them in the oven too. Surprisingly, they ALSO need to cook for an hour at 425 degrees. So handy! Make up a quick salad and Voila! In an hour you'll have juicy roast chicken, baked potatoes, and salad. A PERFECT dinner.

This is seriously the BEST chicken I've ever had. The meat was absolutely falling off the bone. So juicy and so tender. Yum, I'm drooling just thinking about it.

If your chicken is still sorta frozen-ish when you stick it in the oven, you'll need to cook it a bit longer, maybe an hour and 15 - 20 minutes. You'll know it's done when an instant-read meat thermometer reads at least 165 degrees when stuck in a meaty part of the bird. (Conventional wisdom says 185 degrees - but I think conventional people like really dry chicken.)

Anyway, so now you too can roast a fancy schmancy chicken that everyone will ooh and aah over. Go do it! It's fun! And you'll be so proud of yourself!


*Unless someone can give me a good reason for washing a whole chicken I'm just not gonna do it anymore! It gets germs all over my kitchen. And anything that I could possibly hope to wash off with 15 seconds of cold tap water will most certainly be cooked off in the oven, no? Seriously. Can someone please tell me WHY I've been washing my chicken all these years and why I shouldn't just stop washing poultry all together?

Labels: , , , ,