16 February 2010

Chicken And Potatoes

Ever since we started buying a huge amount of beef at once, chicken has become an infrequent luxury in these parts. The mere thought of a roast chicken, sizzling in the oven, filling the house with that ineffable scent - oh, it makes me weak at the knees. And hungry.

The other day, after an outing to see eagles - live eagles, a bald eagle and a golden eagle, but in a tent, not on the wing - we decided we needed to stop by and get a (dead) chicken born and raised in our NYC suburban county. I don't think that there's any connection between seeing the eagles flapping around (and that golden eagle was BIG) and wanting to eat poultry for dinner, but there you have it.

Later that day, I went upstairs to take a nap. About five minutes after I fell asleep, my husband started bellowing from the kitchen that he needed me. I stumbled downstairs, without my glasses, and found him waving the chicken around by its neck. Which was attached to its head. And its feet were dangling around down at the other end. It was quite a sight, and a distinct reminder that this was no Frank Perdue bird, no sir. Unfortunately, it turned out to be kind of a tough bird, the kind that probably would have been better off braised, not roasted. Its carcass became a lovely stock, enriched by the afore-mentioned feet.

Alongside the chicken, we had potatoes, (twice) cooked my new favorite way. Take some medium sized potatoes with thin skins. Wash them, but don't peel them. Pile them in a bowl, cover them with plastic wrap, and microwave them until you can stick a fork in them. (Or boil them, though this is one of the few things I countenance using the microwave for. That and making tea in the ingenious teapot.) Drain the potatoes and, working on a cutting board, gently smash them with the flat side of a big knife. You want to squish them down to about 1/2" thick. And the reason you left the skins on is because it helps hold them together. Smear some olive oil on a sheet pan, and carefully transfer the potatoes over. Drizzle olive oil on the top sides, and sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Bake them for about 20 minutes at 400°F - flipping them once if you're so inclined. They come out like the love child of potato pancakes, mashed potatoes, hash browns and baked potatoes - crispy and molten and earthy and wonderful. They needed nothing on them, though the child dipped hers in ketchup because she dips everything in ketchup.

19 comments:

Imperatrix said...

As a chicken owner, I say: I hope you scrubbed those feet REALLY WELL before putting them in your stock pot.

Just sayin'.

Harriet said...

The potatoes sound delicious, but I think I would probably freak out a little if my chicken came with head and feet.

Amanda said...

Proud of the leftover chicken soup I just had made with broth from a leftover roasted chicken. No feet, but still tasty.

Kelly said...

The potatoes are reminiscent of a Jacques Pepin recipe I got via an episode of Rachael Ray (weird, I know). You were supposed to braise the potatoes in stock and butter and once the liquid absorbed, squish the potatoes and let them fry. It never quite worked for me.

Your method sounds infinitely easier.

de said...

I'm full from dinner and still I would eat one of those potatoes if one happened by. I'll have to give that a try - tonight I was baking potato & onion slices (something I'd usually grill in foil) and they were not done along with the rest of the meal. I HATE that.

Bibliomama said...

Hmm...I often do the potatoes in the microwave just that way, but the extra step (and the 'love child' part) has captured my interest. Also made foot-less stock this week. I've been craving sweet potatoes lately. With some sort of curry. Damn you, now I'm hungry!

kathy a. said...

how come we have to see the dead chicken with all its parts, and we do NOT get to see the lovely potatoes?

nonlineargirl said...

My brother-in-law (the cook) made us the best roasted chicken EVER. Just thinking about it makes me drool a little. Luckily for us it didn't come to us with a head, but it did spend 36 hours in our fridge "resting" with salt and herbs.

jen said...

dude, with chicken feet like those you would so rock the jungle.

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

Shut up, you are making me hungry.

I LOVE roasted chicken! But I probably would have changed my mind about making it, had it come with feet and head still attached. Yikes.

the mama bird diaries said...

Chicken have feet? Shit. That's crazy.

FreshHell said...

I am trying to get that dead chicken image out of my brain.

Wanted to thank you for the lovely valentine's day card. It was the only one I rec'd which made it extra special. :)

Janet said...

oh I LOVE potatoes that way!!! And I have that teapot too :-) I use it for my Aveda The!

Julia said...

You mean you didn't even do an Amelia Bedelia and dress the chicken before roasting?

Somewhere around here I have a pic of a turkey, headless but clothed. It's what happens when you leave the kitchen for a bit and have too many kids around...

kathy a. said...

i think julia wins the dead bird contest....

Marilynne said...

I simply must try your potato recipe tonight. They sound so good.

mayberry said...

Oh, that is my kind of recipe. (The potato one, not the one where you have to behead a chicken.)

The Library Lady said...

There's a Tomie DePaola book about a boy who takes a friend to visit his Nonna entitled "Watch Out for the Chicken Feet In Your Soup".

Am going to try the potato recipe--planning to cook a roast tomorrow and that would go well. My girls have a Russian/Polish side as well as the Filipino one and are partial to potatoes. My younger one likes the ones I roast w/garlic,onions and rosemary--come to think of it perhaps I may try adding some garlic to this!

Cold Spaghetti said...

Seriously YUM potatoes.