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Tomorrow's menu

It occurs to me that I don't really have a foodie icon. {EDIT: Fixed}

So, I'm still tweaking tomorrow night's menu:

- whole roasted chicken, following anita_margarita's advice
- mashed potatoes, or perhaps I shall salt and bake them
- butternut squash cubed and baked with diced apples, sweetened with agave nectar
- a salad with lots of the leftover fixins from Friday's luncheon

I need to keep it on the healthier side for Dad.

For dessert, I have two slices of chocolate-covered pineapple left - one for Mom, one for Dad. (I forget if I mentioned that one of Dad's customers sent me a box of chocolate-covered pineapple slices for helping him with a spreadsheet.)


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 24th, 2011 02:41 am (UTC)
I promise you: roast chicken is easy; if you have any leftovers, they are useful in oh so many ways. And it is lean (if you remove the skin) and healthy.

Gary used to be proud of his BBQ or fried chicken - but he has now admitted that roast chicken is the way to go.

And butternut squash is so NOM. Let us know how it turned out. I have some agave nectar that I bought for when a diabetic was supposed to come to dinner and didn't - so it would be good to have a delicious use for it.
Oct. 24th, 2011 02:49 am (UTC)
Oh yes! Normally I would bake butternut squash with apples and a bunch of brown sugar -- but I have found that agave nectar is quite good and quite neutral, adding a sweetener with a bit of depth but not cloying. I would add it in the same way I would add maple syrup -- maybe a half a cup over all, that type thing. And no hit to the kidneys.

I have been thawing the chicken in a bowl of cold water since about 5pm, but I suspect the center is still frozen. (It's an 8lb chicken.) I am wondering if it will refreeze if I put it into the fridge overnight (it probably will partially-freeze: the fridge was semi-broken by the former tenants and it freezes everything!). But there should be enough time to thaw a little more in the morning.

How long would you put it in the oven?

Edited at 2011-10-24 02:50 am (UTC)
Oct. 24th, 2011 03:21 am (UTC)
I would run cold water inside to thaw it and to also be able to remove the packet of giblets (assuming it has such a packet). Once that is done I would put it straightaway into the fridge and deal with any frozen-ness tomorrow (also by running cold water into it, if necessary).

Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Cake Bible and several other fine cookbooks, found that leaving a fowl uncovered in the fridge overnight makes for a very fine crisp skin - but that is up to you.

I confess I have never dealt with such an enormous chicken as an 8-pounder - when I lived in NYC (many years ago) I came across 6-pounders, but I was a pretty inexperienced cook back then and think I probably ruined them by too much dry heat.

With a chicken that big, what I might do is criss-cross the breast meat with strips of bacon to keep it moist, until the bacon is crisp - to protect the white meat from drying out. If not bacon, then I'd make an herb butter with parsley, thyme, garlic (etc) mashed into butter, and skwush that under the skin, then keep some liquid in the pan and baste occasionally. If the breast gets too brown or otherwise threatens to get overcooked, tent it with some foil - maybe after 1-1/2 hours.

An 8-pound chicken, I would guess, would take about 2+ hours at 350. If the breast is done and the dark meat is still rare, remove the chicken from the oven and carve/hack off the legs and thighs, plop those back in the pan, and return those to the oven to keep cooking. The rest of the chicken keep warm-but-not-hot, perhaps over a little simmering gravy, broth, or water, and then rejoin it with the breast when the juices of the thigh run clear.

Oct. 24th, 2011 03:23 pm (UTC)
Yes, this is definitely a crazy turkey-sized chicken. This is the one my brother gave me after the hurricane. He appears to have gotten it wickedly on sale, because the price on it is only $7 and change. But I checked and it's a crazy 8 pounds. Really looking forward to chicken salad.

Let's see. The few times I have roasted a chicken, I have done exactly that - slathered the chicken in herbed butter, under the skin. And then I kept it basted. But I'm LOVING the bacon idea.

Pretty cool that you lived out here!

I will check out Rose Levy Beranbaum. Thanks!!

Edited at 2011-10-24 03:23 pm (UTC)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )