Next weekend I am cooking for four days straight for the book; the big book of all the recipes I could never do without, and would never want you to be without.
“fayefood” All a good idea, and making dreams come true and all the rest of it, but HOW DOES ONE PERSON COOK EVERY RECIPE IN A BOOK AND LOOK GLAM FOR THE PICTURE AT THE SAME TIME? I need a staff.
There was a time when you would have made this chicken flattened under a pile of bricks, and you can still do that, but if you are hell bent to find a brick and people are waiting, then forget the brick. Pay the extra buck to test your butcher’s talents and have him bone the chicken, leaving the breast in one piece and removing as many bones as possible, including the leg bones. Get your finger in between the skin and the flesh to make pockets where you can stuff 4 to 5 poached garlic cloves (whole cloves simmered in salted water until they are soft), a few tablespoons of a mix of fresh sage, rosemary and thyme, and about three good pinches of salt. Anything left over, rub on top. Put the thing in an a baking pan coated with olive oil, drizzle olive oil over the top, and squeeze the juice from a lemon, all over it. Baste every ten minutes with the pan juices, and roast at 375 degrees.
If you want to get involved, you can cut the chicken in half and sear each half skin side down before you roast it, or sear it, the leaving it skin side down in an oven proof pan, throw a brick on top, so that the skin stays in contact with the pan, and roast until done.
Serve it with my favorite fat, red, ripe and juicy, chopped tomatoes tossed with the great big croutons, roasted in the oven, and then when they come out, seasoned with salt and drizzled with gorgeous olive oil. Add some ripped up basil, and if you have to, a little bit of balsamic and cracked black pepper.
For dessert, reduce your FAVORITE (we’re under pressure here) red wine with half as much sugar (ie. 1 cup of wine to 1/2 cup of sugar) and a one inch wide strip of lemon zest with none of the white stuff. It should look almost syrupy when it’s done and taste out of this world if you used good wine. Pit some cherries, and let them soak in there (off the heat) for a good ten to fifteen minutes. Serve with almond cake, or thinly sliced Italian bread, rubbed with butter, sprinkled with sugar, and lightly toasted.