Monday, June 14, 2010

Special Chicken

Okay I finally defrosted and cooked most of the Maryland local, free range chicken that cost me $17 for the whole bird. I had set aside the breasts for chicken marsala. Then I went to the bodega to pick up some items for ice cream making when the owner mentioned he had some fresh chicken. Oh, fresh chicken! The last time I had bought chicken, the $17 deal, it was frozen. So When I was ready I had to deal with the whole bird. I figured with a fresh chicken I could cut up and cook the parts as needed. This bugger cost me over $20. So I got home. Figured I would cut it up into parts and freeze it.
I had butchered half of it when I bothered to take a look at the packaging. It was a Polyface chicken. The same Polyface Farm as featured in Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma. I was immediately struck with my own dilemma. Was I going to continue with my plan or was I going to see if fresh chicken from Polyface tasted as good as the hype not knowing if the freezing would make a difference. Since I had cut up half of it that was going into the freezer. The other half was going to be roasted.
I chose a recipe from the Gospel According to St. Martha, aka Martha Stewart Living. It was simple. Preheat oven to 425F. Take a chicken, put on foiled cookie sheet (foil not according to recipe but my desire for easy clean up). Brush with butter. Though I failed to read this and wound up pouring bits of melted butter on it. Salt and pepper. Take fresh thyme, stick under breasts and strew on sheet. Smash some garlic, place on sheet. Take day old baguette, in my case bread that has been in the freezer heaven knows how long, strew on sheet. Cook for 1 hour, but since it was ½ a chicken, 45 minutes. At about 45 minutes the fire alarm went off. I need to clean my oven. I tested the temperature and it was above 165F near the bone.
OMG. It was good. The breast was juicy and tender, and the breast is one of my least favorite parts. The bread, the parts that weren’t burnt, were like huge flavorful croutons. Garlic, which I left in the skins, tasty too. Excellent!

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