Thursday, February 03, 2005

Last night I butterflied a chicken, which I've done before, and which is a lot of fun if you relish the idea of hacking out a chicken backbone with your poultry shears (I do). Then I cooked it in a skillet, skin side down, under a brick, or rather, under a dutch oven with some cans in it, which I hadn't done before, as directed by the Dorky Yankees. Maybe my chicken had delicate skin, but it browned much more quickly than the 25 minutes they advised. (This could also have been because I was using a cast iron skillet?) Anyway, after it browned, I removed it from the skillet and put a mess of diced potatoes in the skillet, along with some thyme and salt and pepper. I put the chicken on top of the potatoes, skin side up, and basted it with a lemon juice/olive oil/thyme/garlic blend. Then I stuck the whole mess in the oven until my supersweet thermometer told me it was ready. Then I let the chicken rest for 10 minutes while I shook up the potatoes and returned them to the oven.

The skin was amazing- super crisp- and I fear that Jeff and our dinner guest didn't get as much of the skin as they might have, since I, um, ate a lot of it while I was carving the bird. And the potatoes, well, can you go wrong with roasting potatoes in dripping chicken fat? No. You cannot.

After that, we had tiramisu which our guest had brought from a restaurant called Maria's out in Northridge. Now, I'm not a big fan of tiramisu at all, since usually it's so sweet and sickly, but this was incredible. Absolutely to die for. I'd drive to the far end of the Valley for more of this tiramisu, people.

Also, Lisa, who was responsible for my attending the fabulous evening with an actual Dorky Yankee last November, mentioned making oven potato chips recently. I, too, made my first oven potato chips, according to a similar recipe in The Gourmet Cookbook a few weekends ago. Y'all, they were so good that I proceeded to keep making batches of oven potato chips until we'd used up every potato in the house. Jeff and I discussed the difference between russet and fingerling potatoes (we prefer russet for our chips) and I suspect next time I'm at the Hollywood Farmer's Market, I'm going to buy one of each potato offered by Weiser Farms in order to truly find the perfect chip potato. I know I must make blue potato chips. Well salted, left to cool for a moment, and served with sour cream? Potato bliss.