Sometimes, I get this feeling. I just get this yearning, this urge. Insane vegan women handling out pamphlets on the subway notwithstanding, I get an inescapable urge to roast a chicken. Roasting a chicken is a simple, straightforward and rewarding exercise, absolutely perfect for a chilly Saturday. It only takes about 90 minutes from truss to table and the bird comes out delightful.
Roasting a chicken is simple and best set forth in Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook. To me, the most important decision is what to coat the birdie with before he goes for his trip down the high-heat highway. My favorite is still a mixture of dijon mustard, salt, red pepper and cracked grains of paradise. This time I tried for dried chipotle and Fox Point found at Penzey’s in Grand Central Market. It was good, but in order for the coating to really take charge, it needs to be sterner stuff.
I found a few chayotes at Whole Foods on 97th street and after a few Top Chef flashbacks, I decided to give a simple salad a whirl. It’s special citrus season, and instead of making my standard fennel/grapefruit salad, I mixed the chayote, shaved very thin with some Cara Cara oranges, their juice and some olive oil. I let the whole affair sit in the fridge for a few hours before dinner and the result was a crisp salad that paid well with the sumptuous poultry. One great thing about all the food on TV these days is that it can turn us on to ingredients we’d never even had heard of otherwise. So fear not the unknown, readers, and until next time, cook on!