Friday, September 16, 2011

Reconciliation Chicken..

The story of the reconciliation chicken is the story of a boy, a girl, a mother, a daughter, and a car. And of course, the magical, curative properties of the chicken.
In a nutshell, the story goes something like this. Brother meets girl. Brother becomes infatuated with girl. Brother borrows mother's car to take girl away for a weekend. Brother and girl disappear for an extended period of time. Incommunicado. With car. Mother becomes annoyed and hungry. Housebound in the snow. MUST HAVE CAR! Enter daughter. Acrimonious and angry conversation ensues, in which mother vents at daughter because son is unavailable. Brother must be cast into outer darkness, where there is a wailing and a gnashing of teeth. Repeat. Repeat. Daughter must come immediately to fix.
At the 11th hour, brother re-appears with car and a large roaster in tow. Complete with fixin's. Chicken is roasted, and a reconciliation meal takes place between mother and prodigal in which all is forgiven. The clouds part, the sun shines, and all is right with the world.
After all, how can anyone ever be unhappy with, if you'll forgive the expression, a chicken in their teeth?


Lg Roasting Chicken (organic is best for flavour and for soup)
4 lemons, halved
1/4 cup olive oil
I head garlic, separated into bulbs, skin on
1 clove garlic, diced or crushed
2 or 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Small potatoes, or quartered yukon gold potatoes
Fresh rosemary
Pepper & Salt.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
Remove giblets etc (if any) from the chicken, and rinse thoroughly in cold water. Pat dry.
Take the juice from one lemon and squeeze into a bowl. Add the olive oil, and one crushed or diced garlic clove, pepper and salt. Mix and let sit.
Take the remaining lemons, and squeeze juice into the cavity of the chicken. Insert the lemons (once squeezed) into the cavity. Add several whole garlic cloves. Place the chicken in the roasting pan and, with a thin knife, slit the skin of the chicken in various strategic spots. Insert the garlic slivers. Rub the chicken all over with the rosemary, then with the lemon and olive oil mixture. Flip the chicken (so the breasts are down in the pan). Add potatoes, remaining whole garlic cloves, and any remaining lemon and olive oil.
Place the chicken in the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes, basting once. Then, turn the oven down to 375 degrees and continue to roast until the chicken is done (about 20 minutes per pound, less 10 minutes of the total cooking time. Baste repeatedly. For the last 15 minutes or so, flip the chicken over to brown the skin on the breast.
When the chicken is done, remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes, covered. You can remove the potatoes and garlic and plate them (covered with tin foil), or let them sit until its time to serve.
Reconciliation chicken goes welI with chardonnay, but wine is not required for success. I am told that the preparation, while easy, can be tense, awkward and uncomfortable, but that by the time the chicken has roasted for about 30 minutes, the house begins to fill with the heady aroma of forgiveness. Conversation eases, and laughter can be heard. By the time the chicken comes out of the oven, the atmosphere is warm and thick, a soupy pastiche of forgiveness, love, and joy. All is forgotten, family is reconciled, and the moment of redemption is at hand.

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