Last night was almost a full moon. 95.6% if you are a total geek like me and you have the Photographer's Ephemeris application on your iPhone, and if you don't, why don't you? Because it is so completely handy, I mean if you have a need to know when sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset will be taking place, which you probably don't because, you know you have a life and all.
Anyway, every time there is a full moon, I think of my Aunt M. She is a social worker in a high school. As you may be able to imagine, this is not an easy gig, but, bless her heart, she has been doing this for years. I admire her so much for the work that she does.
Here's the deal, when there is a full moon things are a little wackier than usual around the school. These poor kids lead lives that are not stable, but the phases of the moon? Forget about it. The place goes nuts.
Anyhow, in totally unrelated news, I made Zuni Roasted Chicken for dinner tonight. If you haven't tried this recipe...what the heck are you waiting for?
I know, I know, the method seems a bit fussy. It really isn't though and take my word for it, you will never roast a chicken any other way.
1. Get a nice whole chicken, not too big, not too small. I usually shoot for around 5 pounds. We are big fans of leftovers and you can use the chicken in about a million ways once it is roasted.
2. Take it home and try not to gag when you have to remove that gunk that is inside it. If you do, don't sweat it, I gag EVERY SINGLE TIME!
3. Dry the bird off with paper towels. Make sure you get it really really dry.
4. Plop that baby in a pan and liberally salt (I used kosher salt) and pepper it. Shove some herbs under the skin if you want, but it you don't, that is cool too.
5. Cover it loosely and stick it in the fridge for 1-3 days. I used a Dutch oven, which was perfect for this.
6. When you are ready to roast, fire that oven up to 475° or 500° with the pan you will be using to roast the bird in the oven. You want that thing HOT.
7. When that thing could melt metal, you put that bird in there breast side up, it should sizzle. Roast it about 30 minutes or so. Keep an eye on it and make sure it doesn't start smoking, that means the oven is too hot and you need to crank it back a bit.
8. Take it out when it is getting good and golden and looking crisp. Flip it over and cook it for another 15 minutes or so.
9. Flip the bird one last time to make sure it is roasted through and to crisp the breast side up again.
10. Make sure you have the internal temp high enough so you don't make everyone sick (180° or so and the juices run clear).
11. After that, it is up to you. The Zuni Cafe serves this with a salad with homemade croutons. I just served it with a nice tossed salad for a fairly light dinner, but you can do what you feel.
I am not here to judge. The beautiful thing about this chicken is how ridiculously moist the meat is and how easy the recipe is.
Sorry, I forgot to take photos before I cut the damn chicken up!
I will give you this instead. Not a roasted chicken, but really cute.
See, Mema, less than 15 steps!