I'll admit it, I like a good home cooked meal. I've attempted to cook some rather traditional meals and try to use the highest quality ingredients. Everyone has their favorites, but I find a Roast Chicken to be pretty much bulletproof a recipe.
The drawbacks of making your own meals, instead of walking to the ready made food section of the supermarket or the corner shop are few. Having the time is perhaps the biggest concern. I started making the meal at lunch time, or if you consider that it was a frozen chicken, two days before that. The bird was thawed, and I ended up standing at the island in the kitchen using shears to snip apart some rather nice Artisan Bread. Sesame Semolina Bread was cut into tiny cubes, four cups all told. When done, those were added to a giant bowl with 2 sliced Clementines, a half cup of chopped Pecan pieces, some butter, celery, and some assorted spices. That whole mess was coated with about 1/2 a stick of butter that was melted and then the stuffing was crammed into the neck and the body cavity. By the time the bird was stuffed and tied up, the oven had warmed to 350 and in it went. A 7 and a quarter pound chicken will feed two tonight, and make sandwiches for at least two weeks.
I now have a can of Cranberry Jelly, a can of Green Beans, about 4 baked potatoes, and some corn pieces as sides. I figure, if I'm going to have a large meal on the weekend, it should be a good one. There is a crock pot of chicken noodle soup cooling on the kitchen counter that will make two or more meals in itself, and the house smells of onions from the stuffing.
It is curious though, to think that there is so much variance in the way a chicken can be cooked. Here, you get a chicken with the ubiquitous "Bird Watcher" thermometer. Put it in the oven and when it pops you're done... except it lies. Those things are not made for a stuffed bird. After you add the required extra 25 minutes to cook the stuffing you find yourself questioning whether it really is done. I had to look that up and the instant read thermometer came handy since I found internal temperatures ranging from 150F to 180F. I decided that I should split the difference at 165F since there was a USDA posting saying that stuffing should be cooked to that temperature. I guess it would be the eggs that need it that hot.
Since my kitchen is now full to the brim of food, and my timer is sounding, I'll let you think about the meal and the thought that since I live in a house with Jalousie Windows that leak like a sieve, all my neighbors are going to be chewing their legs off smelling chicken roasting all afternoon!
Oh, pass the green beans please?