Cooking

Chicken Fest 2010

Hi Readers –

Well, it’s been days since my last post. What have I been up to? I was able to get a couple of runs in, I have been watching the Olympics (I live for the Olympics, FYI) and of course I have been super busy working, commuting and thankfully – cooking!

Monday was a holiday for a lot of us (thank you Presidents!) and my friend Tim decided Monday would be our first annual Chicken Fest. One day last week on our train ride home, I confessed to Tim that I had never roasted a chicken myself. He was shocked – and probably appaled, even though he would not admit it. He immediately decided that we needed a day for a tutorial, and created an entire day around my needing to roast a chicken!!

Monday was the day. I arrived with my chef’s knife, apron and kitchen towel… I was very color coordinated! Here I am with Tim, doing some prep work (dijon and herb infused butter is being made in this bowl!)

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Once the butter was made, rolled out and put in the refrigerator, I pulled out our chickens. I was really happy to know that the “inside” of my chicken was in a nice and neat bag, which Tim had nicely already removed for me and set a side for our stock making lesson later…

My chicken was 4.2 pounds, Tim’s was 3.8 lbs. We first patted our chickens dry – outside and inside (ew) – this photo says it all, I think:

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I am not a huge fan of raw chicken. But it is so good once you’ve roasted it!! After patting the chick dry, I watched Tim truss his chicken, and I took a few mental notes… I watched as I tried to truss my own chicken. I think I did an ok job:

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More trussing:

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After the trussing, I seasoned it with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper:

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Then our chickens were ready for the oven:

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Tim used a Jacques Pépin and Julia Child guide for the roasting. I’m definitely going to ask him again for a recap on the cooking temps, times and chicken positions. I know the birds started on their sides, and after a few minutes (20 or so) Tim opened the oven and changed the position of our birds. I think he did this twice. I relaxed and watched the Olympics with our friends and family as the birds cooked for a little while. Then Tim and I were back in the kitchen. We had a Pépin recipe for green beans with almonds, butter and a splash of lemon juice. These were an amazing side dish, they went so perfectly with the chicken. We also started on some baked potatoes and fresh chive and sour cream seasoned with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. (Another Pépin recipe!)

Eventually our birds were done:

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I was really proud of my bird… but Tim was definitely in charge of the oven temps, etc:

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I carved my own bird, for the first time ever!

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Our table after a sort of long day in the kitchen:

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It was fun to eat the chicken, potatoes and green beans after a couple of hours of cooking!

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After an hour or two of clean up and Olympic watching, Tim, Danielle and I were back in the kitchen to tackle dessert. We did another Pépin recipe – a popover! We mixed the batter, melted the butter in the pan and put the popover in the oven:

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We then added

jam to the inside of the popover, and sprinkled it with confectioner sugar – yum!

The final product:

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Danielle’s plate:

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I have to hand it to Danielle – she took the most amazing pictures during Chicken Fest and was such a help to write and create this blog post. (Thanks D!) Overall, Chicken Fest was a total success, and I cannot wait to plan another day to cook with my great friends.

I am off to watch some downhill skiing – hope you are all having a wonderful week!

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One thought on “Chicken Fest 2010

  1. Roasting a chicken always sounds so much more ambitious than it really is. You and Tim, however, make it look approachable for the rest of us. And delicious…

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