Friday, January 10, 2014

I'll Tip My Hat To The New Constitution, Take A Bow For The New Revolution

Up until last year, I did not cook. Refused. Hated it. Somehow managed to stay alive without it (and yes - I live alone.) But that's all changed, and now I cook all the time. Still, sometimes the entire procedure is awkward and hilarious - technically, I'm still learning. 

Oh, you learned how to cook when you were 5? Cool. I'm learning at 30.
Because of said awkwardness, I've decided to blog some of my kitchen activities for a few reasons - one, so you can laugh at my attempts. Two, to document and prove to the non-believers that I AM actually cooking. And three - to show other chicks (and dudes) living alone that you can cook this stuff just for yourself, even when you lack skills or have to improvise ingredients. And I do. Every damn time.

So, today? We're gonna cook a chicken. My first one ever.

I had thought I was being smart, buying chicken breasts, roasting them, freezing them and then thawing them one by one to use in sandwiches, salads, and other crap (a year ago, this would've sounded impossible). But as my sage & trusted food advisor and sister Stephanie told me, it's better to buy a small, whole chicken for cheap, and use every damn bit of it.

So I bought one. And realized had no idea how to cook it.

Using a recipe and tips from said cooking advisor/sister, as well as this recipe here, I got cookin'.

First off... it was traumatizing. I've never really looked at a whole chicken from these angles. It made wonder briefly why I'm not vegetarian. And sadly I made the rookie mistake of naming him George. Oh, George.

Look away. LOOK AWAY!
The recipe calls for a lemon. I didn't have any left. So instead, I put part of a spanish onion and some garlic cloves in the cavity. Yup, the cavity. Shudder. I had to do things to this chicken that you would likely only see in the paid porn your Uncle Roger watches. And this chicken didn't even buy me dinner first. (Though technically he was providing me with a meal or two... ok, I take it back. We're cool, George.)

Next, that guy got the massage of his life. Some olive oil, salt, pepper, butter, some Herbes de Provence because I didn't have whatever the hell the recipe called for .... and again, back to the cavity & more awkward massaging. I feel dirty. But we do gross things for the sake of our inner fat kids.

At least I do.

"You're putting me where?!" Sorry dude.
After being rubbed, herbed & completely violated, the chicken was thrown in the oven at 450 for fifteen minutes. (I don't yet have a roasting pan. I improvised, yet again.) After, I turned it down to 375 and the waiting game began. Meanwhile, I tackle the whole reason I used to hate cooking - the cleanup. And so, I'm a constant cleaner. I clean while I cook and after. Since I'm dealing with George, The Chicken With Potential E. Coli & Salmonella, I disinfected the entire kitchen ASAP. And then took a blowtorch to it.

Germs, guys. Germs. Don't be stupid.

After nearly an hour, the temperature of the chicken is supposed to be 165 degrees. But I don't have a friggin' meat thermometor, no matter how pervy and hilarious its name is. So I tend to slightly overcook sometimes, just to be safe. (And because I like things overcooked, ok? Geez.).

However, this chicken came out completely perfect. I secretly high-fived myself and then it took all my willpower to stop eating the damn thing right then and there. Like the good little girl I am, I put some of the meat in the freezer for future meals. Boom. Preparation. You're welcome, Future Kris!

And here's my George, with a sweet tan from his trip to the oven.

So there ya have it. The Culinary Idiot learned how to cook a chicken, and it actually turned out awesome. (And yes I WILL be making a broth with George's remains, since I use chicken broth in a lot of my dishes. But I won't bother blogging it. You've been spared.)

The rogue bread tag really adds a touch of class to this photo

Until next time. George the Chicken bids you adieu.


Mark said...

This is amazing.
Nice, work, Kris!

Don't feel bad, we're teaching my Dad to cook for the first time this weekend, and he's 64!

Pat Zaph said...

Pro tip: near the end, throw on the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the skin.

Other pro tip: learn to brine whole poultry. it makes a good chicken an FANFUCKINGTASTIC chicken.

Third pro tip: buy a smoker. Smoked chicken is awesome. Smokers make every food better.

Assorted tidbits:

Cover the bird in whole strips of bacon.
Beer can chicken. Yes.
Good carving knife. Get one.
Flavoured salts. Preferably smoked. Buy it. Rub chicken with it. Savour it in an unhealthy way.
I generally don't stuff any fowl I'm cooking UNLESS it's fresh herbs that won't block heat from the cavity. Whole stems of rosemary and thyme stuffed up in there. Thumbs up.

Vanessa said...

George looks tasty! Nicely done.

Kris Goetz said...

Does he want to give me lessons? :)

Kris Goetz said...

I'll try all of those eventually - I'm just getting started. Baby steps! Brining is probably next.

Kris Goetz said...

Thanks Vanessa!

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