Thursday, October 23, 2008

roast chickens?

I know that people always complain when anything changes, but I really hate the Sacbee redesign.  I was just trying to see if there are any new restaurant reviews and I couldn't tell.  Now they have a "featured" one at the top that may or may not be new.  I wonder if you can pay to have your review featured?

Have you guys seen the new Edible Sacramento?  It looks really nice, and has some good articles.  It's quite an attractive publication.  I liked Hank Shaw's article on the bluefooted chickens.  I thought about ordering one but then thought better of it.  I got a chicken at the co-op and roasted it the other day and it was OK, but not very chickeny and some of the dark meat was stringy and tough.  This was a ten dollar chicken that was free range or something.  I expect more. What's your chicken roasting technique?  This was the first time I'd used a recipe from "roast chicken and other stories"-a British cookbook that everyone freaks out about, and the cooking times seemed to be completely off to me.

I finished this book, "The United States of Arugula" the other day.  I read it ravenously.  I recommend it.  It's the history of foodie-ness in the U.S. My eyes would sometimes glaze over when the author when the author went into who cooked under who at Le Pyramide or Le Cirque or whatever, but I love how, whenever you get down to it every big movement boils down to a few people, many of whom are fussy cranks.  OK, this is a crappy book review, but pick up a copy.  There are juicy stories about sex and drugs at Chez Panisse, of course, and Darrell Corti gets a brief mention, too.  It gave me a lot of ideas for other cookbooks and food books I want to pick up, like something from Craig Clairborne, who the auther posits as (did I just use that word right?) the first important food critic in the U.S.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

We roasted one James Beard style last night. Rub the bird with a herb butter of chopped tarragon, salt and pepper (a whole stick!). Rub inside of cavity with a lemon and then stuff the lemon halves inside. Truss and roast, starting with one wing up. We use a roasting rack in the pan. Turn the bird every 20 minutes or so. Roast at 425 for about 1 hour and 25 minutes. (The fat man says one hour only, but sometimes it isn't enough.) We then poured the pan juices into another dish, poured cognac over bird, set it on fire and when that was over, we skimmed the fat off the pan juices, poured them back into the cognac in the roasting pan and deglazed the pan. Put a little whipping cream in the sauce and it was fan-fucking-tastic.

We had this with roasted acorn squash and a shrimp cocktail. Oh, and Gouden Carolus Noel!

-Ella

beckler said...

sounds great. see, i'm skeptical about this roast chicken cookbook because i tried to make his signature dish and i think the cooking time was totally off. that's a bad sign. and my chicken was exactly four pounds, which is what the recipe said. it was like 45 minutes off. the chicken was oozing blood at the time he said it would be done.

Anonymous said...

Do you have a reliable oven thermometer? Maybe his times are just off.

We use "The New James Beard" and "Theory and Practice" a lot.

Ella

Anonymous said...

I never thought I'd dig food writing in a million years, and then discovered Steingarten. His Man Who Ate Everything is a damn fine read.

-- Patrone

sharper said...

I don't think my method has any book-learning or a famous name behind it (anyone else hear of this "grandma" person?), but I can tell you how I do it:

Coarsely chop a couple of carrots, celery stalks, and half an onion. Spread them on the bottom of the pan to use them as an impromptu rack and to better flavor the drippings. Then finely chop the other half of the onion, a few cloves of garlic and another carrot and celery stalk or two, and rub them underneath the skin with some olive oil, then rub the rest of the bird with oil. Roast the bird breast-down at 400ish in a sloppy-temperatured pre-war midtown oven until the bird changes color, then flip and cook until done.

I'm gonna have to try that cognac flambe thing.

As for the Bee, the redesign isn't bad, but it makes it less a "Sacramento" paper and more a generic news web site. Does this mean Sactown's made it big?

beckler said...

yeah, the man who ate everything is probably my favorite food book. i guess number two would be my life in france by julia child.

Anonymous said...

Have you guys read My Life is a Steak by Lil Joe? Awesome.

-omf

Jeff M. said...

Off topic: just wondering if you and your readers have seen the sac press site

http://sacramentopress.com

I'm not affiliated with the site, but I feel it deserves a little word of mouth.

beckler said...

Is the lil joe book a real thing?

Is Sacramento Press a local online reporting site? Are the writers paid reporters?

Jeff M. said...

No, it's a wiki-like thing with a little bit of editorial control.

Anonymous said...

I can heartily recommend "The Backstage Gourmet" by Phil Lesh.

-miller

Anonymous said...

Well, I could not find that Lil Joes book anywhere. It must be very RARE.
-Ed C

Anonymous said...

I found that Lil Joes book at Richard Press Fine & Scholarly Books. It was $500 but I had a red star on my receipt so I got it free.

-miller

beckler said...

I never get the red star!

Anonymous said...

I call bullshit on the red star.


-miller

Anonymous said...

For most meats I ignore cooking times and use a double probe thermometer in the breasts that goes off outside the oven compensating the temp for resting. Got mine on sale for ten bucks at W&Sonoma (what else are you gonna do when you're waiting for someone at the mall?).

On a different note, Liv Moe and I went to Hoa Viet last night and the chicken in her soup was like chewing leather. I asked my ma what the hell was up with the VC torture chicken in pho sometimes, and she said, "oh Vietnamese chicken are just soup chickens usually that are always tough because they have too much muscle from running around." According to her, some places use better chicken during meal hours. Made sense to me, as we came in at 10.30pm when they probably only had the tough meat left from cooking the broth all day.

-skpo

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact that Stan Tindall has gotten the red star at least twice in his life. And bowled a 300 at least once. Don't fuck with that guy.

-charvey

Anonymous said...

Off-topic again? What is Castle Press, LLC? They are listed as the company running saramentopress.com.

From The "What we're all about" page on tthe site:

"We are a for profit business, but we consider ourselves a public trust."

I, uh, smell bullshit...

Anther one of those you provide unpaid content, we sell ads and make money off the traffic schemes... yech...

fft said...

blame it on the red star

Anonymous said...

Have to weigh on the tough Viet chicken. I know it sounds weird, but they use that tough chicken deliberately as many vietnamese love it. It's not like they just don't know what they're doing so the chicken is tough.
I forgot how to spell the name but it sounds something like "ga yai" and means, again, if I remember right, 'tough chicken'

JD

Anonymous said...

Tough Chicken!

and off topic, I once saw Stan Tindall lean over and pluck just one 78 out of about 8 crates of 78's at a thrift store... and it was Little Richard, and the ONLY rock and roll 78 in all 8 crates. Even after he did that, he did not proceed to go through any of the records. He just paid for it and left. That is magical.

I however, spent the next hour flipping like a tweaker through those fucking 78's and found nothing, not even one record.

EC

Anonymous said...

Is there any Vietnamese restaurant in town that serves Rough Chicken?

-miller

Anonymous said...

Tough Chicken should be a record label. They could try to knock Rough Chicken from their perch atop the early nineties Sacramento dancehall scene.

JD

Anonymous said...

How did you guys do that at the same moment in time?

EC

Anonymous said...

funny...it's just call "pho ga" on the menu. If I remember right, that means "chicken pho".

Mandizzle said...

Use a crock-pot. Rub your spices on the outside and the inside and refirgerate over night. Put in the crock pot and cook on slow for about 8 hours. I did mine longer, because i was away at work. The meat fell off the bone but it was hecsa tasty. also, it will make it's own broth, which can be used for a kick-assed soup.

Check out this site:
http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/