i’ve always loved to welcome a new piece of clothing in my wardrobe. i was never one to turn down a bargain, or trends (that weren’t here to stay… ahem). like leggings with studs (okay, i kind of still like these… sorry?). but recently, that has shifted. i catch myself wearing the same things, jeans, cardigans and skirts, and shoes, most of all, that i’ve been wearing a year or two years or even more (jesus christ) ago – and not caring (well, not really, at least…). it’s just like ‘oh well, those jeans were good last year, so they might just as well be good this year, too”. it’s kind of a new behavior and attitude. to not want for the latest awesomeness that the fashion industry champs came up with – but to want stuff that’s good, that will last, that will make a difference. i’d rather have nothing (new) than shit, i.e. something of bad quality, that won’t make me happy next year (or next month, even). i’d rather have one cashmere pullover than two cotton ones. i’d rather have one pair of comfortable and fitting jeans than two with the latest wash, that are too short / too tight / too low / too high / too (fill in missing word here)… yes, i now, strangely so, i started to prefer classics to fashionable, trendy, hipster fads. though i never believed this will happen to me, it has. so maybe, this shift does, like everyone (including moms around the world) says, indeed come with ‘age’? and, let me tell you, it’s a nice change of routine, and actually very calming and relaxing, not to have to chase the latest fads. liberating!
another thing that’s doomed to come with age: the variety of foods we like. n’est pas? as a kid (and the majority of my teen and beginning of my tween years) i hardly ate any meat. actually, zero, if possible. my mother used to make the odd roasted whole chicken on friday nights for family dinners for my brother and dad. but i never felt a pull towards it.
that was, maybe, because i never really tried it, or gave it a second chance (mind you, my mother’s chickens certainly were fantastic as chickens went…). i recently have given it another chance, though. i boldly bought one (a whole! chicken!) at the shop, without thinking about it. i just bought one. i thought: ‘hell i’m going to be thirty this year! might as well pull off a whole roasted chicken – and eat it, too!”. and so the story of my first roasted chicken goes… it was a good chicken (for a second chance). it was crispy and salty and slightly garlicky (hmmm…) outside, and soft, juicy and buttery-smelling inside. it was fragrant and, strangely, comforting to eat a chicken, with nothing but a few slices of baguette. hello, new fashion and food and other routines…! i like you!
basic roasted garlic & lemon chicken
1 whole chicken (about 1.5 kg)
1 cup butter (or more, if you dare to… you can’t really overdo it with butter, here)
1 garlic (the whole bulb), halved (horizontally)
1 lemons, halved
2 tbsp. maldon sea salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch rosemary
preheat the oven to highest heat possible. place the chicken in a pan, rub with the butter and place the garlic and herbs in the pan. season with the salt and pepper, rubbing it into the chicken nicely. sprinkle with some lemon juice (about half the lemon), and place both halves in the pan as well. your chicken is ready to go in the oven! very simple.
note on the roasting: i first let the chicken roast in the very high heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the outside was already dark and crispy looking. i then lowered the heat to about 180 degrees / 350 fahrenheit, and let it roast for a further 45 minutes to 60 minutes. you can pour the juices over it occasionally, to turn it more crispy. i was told the chicken is done when the wings seem to loosen rather easily (when pulling) from the body.
remove the chicken from the oven and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes, so that the juices develop nicely. cut it (with poultry scissors, which i didn’t find, since i haven’t made a chicken in years, really; or simply take normal scissors, but don’t tell anyone) into it’s part: the breast, the wings (…and… here my meat-knowledge stops, sorry… so just part it any way you like, you can’t go wrong). serve it with baguette. and don’t forget a bowl of warm water and a lemon slice for each guest to clean the sticky hands in it (yes, it’s a legitimation to eat with the hands, here, too).
ps: please, please eat the garlic, too…! the roasting turns it very soft, and, yes, almost caramelized-like… not poisonous at all. kissing still allowed, i promise! so be bold and smear it onto the baguette. yep, that’s right.
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