Last Sunday night I roasted my first whole chicken. Full of zeal I tried to talk Matt into letting me cook it in a salt crust, which he quickly dismissed ("7lbs. of rock salt? No.") . I called Dad to pout, and he supported Matt. Apparently salt crusted chicken is not the best route for your first crack at cooking a whole bird. But someday, someday.
So I rubbed butter and oil and garlic and salt and pepper and lemon and fresh oregano and rosemary all over and in and up on my chicken. It was exhilarating to just go at that bird - I felt pretty empowered actually. I sat it on a baking rack in a broiler pan (dreaming of a Le Cruset dutch oven mind you) and cooked it at 400.
When the chicken came out of the oven roughly one and half hours later, Matt and I just stared at it. We were speechless. And I don't know what it is about a whole roast chicken, but you just immediately start picking at it. Before we knew it, the two of us were eating dinner standing up. Forget plates. We ate with our hands.
After the first night of chicken feeding frenzy I managed to work that chicken into 5 other variations; drumsticks with biscuits and beans, grilled BBQ and onion sandwiches, Chinese chicken salad, chicken wings with cheddar beer bread, and stock. If that isn't food economy people, I don't know what is. 1 Chicken basically fed the two of us for a week. And when you are living on an academic stipend that is what we call suh-uh-weet.
Grilled BBQ & Onion Sandwiches
2 thick slices of favorite sandwich bread
1/4 of an onion sliced thin
Chicken meat tossed in BBQ sauce
Cheese (if desired)
Melt a small pat of butter in a fry pan over medium heat. When melted, add sliced onions. Cook onions until they are soft and a little charred. Remove from heat.
Assemble sandwich as desired (bacon is a good addition also). Butter both sides of bread.
Chinese Chicken Salad
a Maki family favorite.
1/2 head of cabbage
1 package Raman
chopped chicken (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup sliced almonds
rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. white sugar
Break up the Raman noodles in the package. Add a splash of cooking oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Empty Raman noodles into skillet, careful to collect and discard seasoning packet. Fry noodles until golden brown. Drain on paper towel.
Arrange almonds on baking sheet and toast in 350 degree oven for 5 minutes or until golden brown. This happens very fast. If you can smell them, it's time to take them out.
Slice cabbage into thin long strips. Toss cabbage in large bowl with chicken, diced scallion, prepared Raman noodles & almonds. In a smaller bowl add 2 tbsp each soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil. Add a tsp. of white sugar. Whisk together with a fork and adjust for personal taste.
This is good right away but better if you let it sit for a few hours...and even better the next day for lunch.