Sunday, February 14, 2010

Roast Chicken aka Grownup Food

(picture taken hastily because I was hungry)

I made my first roast chicken! I feel like such a grown up!

I was at the store looking at chicken breasts when I saw whole chickens for like 4 bucks. I bought one, and on the way home I was thinking, "I have no idea what to do with this!"

I tried googling what to do, but the information was so overwhelming. I went for the trusted advice of madre. (And Chris' mom, who basically said the same thing)

So. I put on some nitrile gloves to avoid freaking out about cross contamination, and started.

From what I saw on Google, some people rinse the bird, some don't. I opted to rinse.
When I took it out of the bag it was all squished together, and as I started rinsing the wings and legs kinda flopped out a little bit.
At first I started looking for the hole at the top, but then I realized it's supposed to be down by the legs. I couldn't figure out what I was looking at, but then I realized the neck was stuffed in the hole. How odd... Anyway, I removed that and chunked it, and rinsed out the inside. I figured it looked like a chicken should.

I had prepared a 13 x 9 cake pan lined with tin foil, because I don't have a roasting pan. I stuck the bird in that, removed the gloves, and liberally sprayed disinfectant all over the sink.

I sprinkled some thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic powder on top of the bird. Then I kinda rubbed it around (with gloves on), and got some of the seasonings underneath the skin and on to the breast. I felt oddly like a masseuse.

Then I flipped it over, repeated, and flipped it back over, breast side up.

I had half of an onion left over from something, so I just stuck the whole thing inside the hole, along with some watercress I found in the fridge. I dunno why, I just did.

I stuck it in the oven at 325 for a couple hours, until the juices where the leg met the body ran clear. I got kinda paranoid and left it in a little longer, just in case. I'm so scared of getting food poisoning from undercooked meat. I just remembered I have a meat thermometer, and I should have used that. Anyway, it was pretty done.

I took it out and let it sit for about 15 minutes, and when I went to rip the leg off, the meat just fell right off the bones. The skin was nice and crispy, and the meat was just falling off.

After I took all the meat off, I stuck the carcass in a pot. Actually, I just put everything from the roasting pan into a pot and simmered for a couple hours to get chicken broth, which I froze. No more canned crap!

Now I have a couple tupperware containers full of chicken and a nice stock of chicken broth. It was surprisingly easy and super cheap, and I feel awesome having cooked something substantial. Yay!

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I went grocery shopping and tried a few new (to me) products.
[pictures link to product info]

Gorilla Munch. First of all, what a great name.

I bought this to try out a new cereal. I love my "kids" cereals.

It's pretty good, like a cross between Captain Crunch and Kix. I like it so much, in fact, that I'm already on my second box.

Moving on to crackers.

I've tried the plain Nut-Thins before and they're ok- I like them with some kind of cheese or dip. However, I really like the Cheddar Cheese flavored ones. They make a great snack. The Country Ranch flavor is good, but the it's kind of overpowering and the flavor stays in your mouth (and on your breath) for a really long time.

I really love the Glutino strawberry wafers, and I recently tried the lemon ones. Great lemon flavor- the box was gone in a day. The chocolate coated vanilla wafers are all right- still good but not as good in my opinion. They have a funny aftertaste.

I tried another Glutino product- the Blueberry breakfast bars. They are about the same as the cranberry ones- decent texture but just way too sweet.

Next, Nana's Ginger Spice cookie bites.

Honestly, I expected these to be gross- no refined sugars, dairy, trans fat, eggs, all natural, etc. I was very surprised at the texture- a tad mealy, but not gooey or dry. The flavor was really great. Pronounced and spot-on. I like them with tea or coffee. I'm down to my last one.

I also tried Legacy Valley GF Oats. Like Bob's Red Mill oats, I have a problem with them. The oats themselves are fine, but it's hard to explain- Among the oats in the bag are something I'm going to call hulls (Link to a picture to see what I mean).

The oats cook up nice and soft, but the hulls remain hard and interrupt the texture of the oatmeal and get caught in my teeth and stuff. I don't know if it's a different kind of oat or if it's the process they use, but I really, really don't like it. Any other oatmeal I've ever eaten has not had this problem. For this reason I prefer Gluten Free Oats- all you get is the soft oatmeal.

Well, that's all for now.
Any comments on this, or any related products you'd recommend?