It’s funny how two people in the business of communication can miscommunicate so badly.
This past weekend, my husband, an associate publisher here at the Daily Journal, decided he wanted to roast what we call “little chickens” from Todd’s grocery store. While I was out doing my thing, he went to the grocery store to purchase said supplies. It was only when I got ready to cook several hours later that I discovered he’d purchased cut-up chickens, not whole birds.
Now, when he said he wanted to roast little chickens, I thought he meant cooking whole birds like his mother does, with sliced lemons and onions. But he had other ideas. He wanted to brown the individual pieces first to give them a crispy texture.
Having had my heart set on whole roasted chickens, I went out to the front yard to sulk and pick up fallen branches from the weekend’s storm, leaving him to brown the chicken pieces.
When I came back in, he had the chicken browned and was babbling something about pan drippings, but I wasn’t paying attention. I shooed him out of the kitchen and began slicing onions and lemons to salvage what was to have been my mother-in-law’s recipe.
I popped the chicken in the oven and started washing dishes, including the skillet he’d browned the chicken in. A few minutes later, he came into the kitchen and demanded to know what I was doing.
I looked at him blankly.
“You threw out my pan drippings,” he said not too nicely. “I told you I was going to make a sauce for the chicken.”
With that he stormed outside to cut the grass in the back. (Our yard certainly does look better when we have a disagreement, I must say.)
An hour and a half later, we sat down as a family to eat and all was forgiven. Despite our best intentions to unwittingly sabotage one another, the chicken was fabulous – crispy on the outside like he wanted and lightly flavored with lemons and onions like I wanted.
2 (21⁄2-pound) chickens, cut up
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 lemon, sliced thinly
1 Vidalia onion, sliced in rings
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
Wash chicken, pat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown chicken in oil, a couple of minutes on each side. Remove chicken to a foiled-lined jelly roll pan. Top chicken with lemon slices, onion rings and thyme sprigs. Bake, uncovered, on center rack of oven for 1 hour at 300 degrees. Loosely tent pan with foil and bake an additional 15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a breast registers 165 degrees. Remove foil, move chicken to an upper rack, and broil for about 5 minutes, until sizzling. Remove from oven, return aluminum foil tent, and let rest about 10 minutes before serving.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home /garden editor.
NEMS Daily Journal