Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Again with the anchovies

None of my dinner photos turned out well, so I give you instead this picture: what Jasper did to our George W. voo doo doll in honor of tonight's State of the Union Address.

Anyway, today's dinner got mixed reviews. At the recommendation of a friend I tried roasting a chicken with anchovies stuffed under the skin. This yielded sensational (if rather salty) pan drippings, which I then used to season our boiled peas in place of butter and salt. That was fantastic. The anchovies didn't exactly harm the chicken. The flesh just under the anchovies tasted like, well, anchovies only milder. Since I roasted the chicken my usual way the rest of it was crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside. I baked some corn muffins to go with the dinner.

Stuffing things under the skin of a chicken is an effective way to flavor a roast bird. You just need to exercise some caution and avoid piercing either the skin or the flesh. Instead of a knife I usually use my fingers. I begin at the top, where there's usually some loose neck skin, and just run my fingers down towards the breast. When I get there I gently separate the skin from the flesh as I move my fingers further down the breast. Once the skin has been loosened I then fill that cavity with fresh herbs -- rosemary, thyme, and marjoram work well.

I hope that made sense... And that no one is blushing at this point. Tee hee!

Julie was asking about how to carmelize onions. I do this one of two ways. One is to just heat chopped onions over low heat in some butter for about 15 minutes or so. It's kind of hard to do this without drying out the onions. Another way is to cook the onions for a long time over low heat as in the former method but adding water little by little. You add about a quarter cup at a time, stir a bit, and then keep adding water as it evaporates. Usually 20 minutes of this is sufficient, but if you can keep it up for an hour you'll get the best results.

JaneAnne, YES, by all means, please send the Bittman cous cous recipe. I'll be sure to cook it and report on the results.

It was a gloomy day today, with the rain, Coretta Scott King dying, Alito getting sworn in, Georgie on TV. But there was one bright spot. I finished knitting this scarf for Jasper. I did a popcorn stitch border all the way around, for those of you who knit.


julie said...

I'll try this when we get an oven. We've been without one for six months now, so I appreciate your stovetop recipes! I'm in the process of making your rum/cherry chicken now, and it was fun to buy the required rum at the Russian liquor store festive with posters of Lenin and Trotsky. I'll let you know how it turned out. (I'm really bad at browning chicken in a pan--how high should the heat be?)

That said, death to the fascist insect that preys upon the life of our people!

Writermama said...

Thanks for the carmelizing instructions! Yes, it was a gloomy day, yesterday.

Swizzies said...

Meant to say this yesterday - that scarf you knitted is too cute! I am impressed at your many talents once again. What is a popcorn stitch? Now I'm intrigued... As I've said before many times, "lucky, lucky Jasper" - he scored! :-)