Tuesday, September 02, 2003

First of all, this book is such sheer, unrestrained genius. Everyone should own it. You should buy it RIGHT NOW. I know I've already discussed it, but man.

Y'all know about my quest for the perfect Roast Chicken, right? I don't know why I spent all this time on a quest when Jacques Pepin has all the answers. I already knew to stuff garlic and herbs under the breast, and that high heat/small bird is the way to go, but who knew trussing would make such a difference? (Certainly not Cook's Illustrated, who had assured me that trussing would not make any difference at all.) I think it did, though. Trussing, and roasting on one side, then another, then breast side up. And the lying it breast side down after it has roasted, to let the juices flow back into the breast, is so obvious, but clearly not obvious enough, since I had never thought or read of it. And the glorious skin. I have never in my life made a roast chicken that was so golden brown all over.

(Though that may be also due to the butter- I am usually all about the olive oil, but as Julia says here , she likes to use butter because (she) thinks the chicken likes it, and (she) likes it too. And the chicken does like it. And if you're talking about eating chicken skin, worrying about the extra calories from butter seems a bit silly.)

So I am as close as I ever have been to roast chicken nirvana, and leap years ahead of where I was last. Jeff tore all the leftovers off the carcass in the kitchen, even. It was a three pound chicken, people.

Next time I'm trying the stuffing under the skin method Jacques gives here. I feel ready to advance beyond your basic roast chicken now.

(A side note: If you are not cutting up new potatoes and placing them under your chicken as it roasts, well, you are doing potatoes everywhere a disservice. It should be criminal to not roast potatoes this way, even.)

We went to La Super Rica when we were in Santa Barbara this weekend- it's rumored to be Julia Child's favorite taco stand. It was delicious, though I was a little disappointed Julia wasn't actually there. I really did think maybe she would be. Probably for the best, because I don't think Julia needs me blabbering over her hollandaise. And y'all know I would.