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In which I (almost) help roast Lemon Thyme Chicken

August 2, 2010

Well, my sister claims that I totally helped roast Lemon Thyme Chicken, but I can’t help but feel that if I had absolutely no clue what I was trying to do then there’s no possible way for me to have actually helped.

So, I was supposed to drive my sister back to her place yesterday morning (which involved being up at 6 when we’d stayed up until midnight), and after obeying all of the various rules my mother put down to try to ease her raging paranoia about me driving whilst sleep-deprived and admiring the rain that was splashing all over the road, I decided to stay for a lot of the day.

I also ended up staying the night.

The main reason that I ended up staying the night was because my sister and her roommate had a scheme to (bum-ba-da-bum!!!) roast a lemon thyme chicken.  And how often do you get to help try to roast a whole chicken (which, might I say, was huge!!!  As far as chickens go, that is)?

Unfortunately, I do not have the recipe on hand to post up here, and I failed to take pictures of it.  Which means that I can only repeat some of the jokes that arose from trying to cook this poor chicken.

First off, we were supposed to rub the chicken with salt, which… well, fortunately I didn’t have to do it.  Because it also involved rubbing it inside the chicken, which was just kind of weird.  I did hand handfuls of salt to my sister’s roommate though.  Turns out, two or three very large handfuls of salt was much more than the recipe called for.   But then we were suppose to let it sit for 12 to 48 hours in the fridge, but since we weren’t that patient, maybe it’s a good thing that we put too much salt on, to help give it the drying out or moisture purging effect or something.

The main butt of all of our jokes (which sounds completely wrong in itself, I know) was the business of the lemon.  My sister had to take a whole lemon, puncture it with a fork, and then stuff it inside of the cavity before it cooked.  Personally, I thought it a little invasive, but then I guess we do almost the same thing with turkeys at Thanksgiving time.  Except with stuffing instead of a lemon.  By the by, is there a holiday that’s the equivalent of Thanksgiving in Britain?

And then another recipient of our jokes was the fact that the recipe ordered us to “let the chicken cook undisturbed for 55 minutes at 450°.  Due to the fact that we’re us, this resulted in two effects.

1) We disturbed it by throwing a pan of potato goodness in to cook as well, which probably was thoroughly disturbing to the poor chicken.  And very hot for us.  Have you ever had hot onion fumes gushing into your face?  It’s a very interesting sensation.

2) We had a dish towel on the rack of the oven, which acted as a curtain over the oven window.  This gave rise to a few jokes about how the chicken would feel less disturbed with this courteous act of privacy.

And then there was all of the fun that ensued once we took the chicken out.

There was something about putting fresh thyme on the chicken once it comes out of the oven, which was supposed to “sizzle and release a burst of perfume.”  I was the one trying to sprinkle fresh thyme on it, and I was disappointed by how poorly it sizzled and released a burst of perfume.  But it was a bit of a delayed reaction on the perfume part.  We could smell it in a bit.

And then we had to attempt to “tip the chicken to dump the juices into the pan.”  Which, well…  How do you tip a chicken that has been recently cooking at 450 degrees in an oven?  We settled on each of us having a pair of tongs and trying to manipulate the chicken in the correct directions.

And then there was the removal of the lemon, which… well, it inspired its own jokes.  We were smart and used the aforementioned tongs to pull it out.

And then there was the thing about juicing the lemon and pouring the juice back into the pan with the chicken juices (we’d removed the chicken at this point) and trying to simmer them in the pan over the stove.  Now there’s a nice brown-black circle on the pan where it was sitting over the burner.

There was the fun that occured when we were attempting to cut the chicken apart (and the fun that ensued when I started freaking out about potential salmonella), and rubbing butter all over stuff, and all of the other stuff that you have to do to prepare for eating a roasted chicken.

But, I would like to say, that it was a lot of fun trying to help roast a chicken in the oven.  And it was especially fun eating it.  🙂

Now, hopefully, I don’t get salmonella.  If I do, it will be reason for a very long post about how miserable salmonella is.  Let’s face it, that’s the LAST thing I ever want to post about.

But my main consolation if I Do get Salmonella is that I will be able to blame my sister’s roommate.  Who, I would like to point out, did a fabulous job with this whole chicken thing!!!

See?  There’s a silver lining in everything.  Even in the good stuff.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Aforementioned Sister's Roommate permalink
    August 3, 2010 5:43 am

    Yes, you can blame me for potential food-borne illness, but I don’t know how that would help things. To allay your concerns, I just consulted some citation-less wikipedia articles in which the authors claim that salmonella can be killed by heating chicken to 167 degrees for ten minutes. You will recall my chef’s meat thermometer readings and the clearness of the juices when the thigh was poked. It was great having you here!

  2. Rivenheart permalink
    August 3, 2010 2:57 pm

    I’m pretty sure that Salmonella makes its presence known within about 24 hours at the most (just judging by one random science movie that we watched in Anatomy and Physiology once), so we must have made it through just fine.

    The chef’s meat thermometer and the clearness of juices strikes again!!!

    Thanks for having me over! Not that you had all that much choice about it, but thanks anyhow! Now you won’t want me back though, because you’ll think that I write a blog about everything that goes on in my life. I don’t. Just about roasting chickens for the first time. 😮

  3. August 3, 2010 11:02 pm

    ah, cooking. it can be almost as much fun when it’s risky and unknown as it is to… well, eat the yumminess at the end.

  4. August 5, 2010 11:14 pm

    I cackled wildly about disturbing the chicken! But the handfuls of salt made my metaphorical eyes pop out, my mum would slay me – would have slain me at any age, moreover – if I dared to use anything bigger than a tablespoon for rationing out salt 😄 😄 😄

    I must admit that I have very little idea about how to roast chickens (now I know about all the rubbing and delving in its innards)….either full roast fowl are not a Bengali thing, or my ancestors were just not into it. We like to chop animals into little pieces.

    I wonder if you can do a whole roast chicken tandoori-style and have it taste the same? I imagine the salt-rubbing part is the marinating part, right?

    Focaccia and roast chicken, how is it that you are not fat? Can you hear my stomach rumbling? (I almost said ‘lascivating’, which is quite possibly not a word and certainly not appropriate, when I meant ‘salivating’ so I decided not to mention it XD)

    Also, all of the above was so full of aw(e)ful puns that it gladdens my pun-loving heart. HIGH FIVE.

  5. Rivenheart permalink
    August 5, 2010 11:48 pm

    Hee hee. With something as disturbing as trying to roast a chicken after you’ve delved in and slathered salt all over it, how could we not make jokes about disturbing the chicken? I think it’s one of those human reflexes. Like the one that makes you laugh ridiculously hard during a horror film (Mind you, I wouldn’t know, since I’m not exactly a horror film lover).

    The amount of salt was a little disturbing, but since the “Aforementioned Sister’s Roommate” seemed to possess a vaguely disturbing amount of salt (and it wasn’t even normal table salt, it was the larger granuley stuff), I don’t think we felt too bad.

    In general, I don’t particularly like to try to cook large projects like chickens and focaccia bread. I honestly prefer to chop meat into little bits and stir fry it with soy sauce. 🙂 I have absolutely no clue about how you would go about roasting a chicken tandoori-style. I assume in our case the salt may have been like marinating, but then afterwards we marinated it with butter and lemon-juices. This sounds like a question for greater research!!! 😄

    You know, I do believe lascivating might actually be a word? (Insert the voice of Jeeves, from Jeeves and Wooster) I am of course referring to the latin word “Lascivious,” meaning mischief or trouble. Bearing such information in mind, one might assume that lascivating refers to someone or something making some sort of trouble.

    Or I could be completely off, and it really means something about being lazy. Which I’m obviously being, since I don’t want to actually get up and get the dictionary.

    Aw(e)ful puns. Hee hee. Thanks for the high five. 😄

  6. August 6, 2010 10:19 pm

    I associate lasciviousness with pervy old men, so I wasn’t positive if it worked as a gerundive with respect to a reaction to food 😄

    I don’t perv on food. Jus’ so you know.

    I really don’t.

    Why are we talking about perving??!

  7. Rivenheart permalink
    August 7, 2010 12:36 am

    There, you see? Pervy old men= trouble/mischief. Definitely trouble.

    Yeah, I can’t say that it’s exactly the best word to use when describing food and the way one feels about it, but I suppose if that’s really how you feel… I’m kidding. Don’t worry.

    We’re not talking about Perving anymore. Change the subject. 😄

  8. Kaimalino permalink
    August 8, 2010 4:35 am

    It was a bout of salmonella that partly inspired my 10+ years of vegetarianism. It was brutal, and I think you’d definitely know if you had it. I remember sincerely praying for death.
    But what I really want to knwo if where you got this recipe from. . . .what kind of recipe book has prose writing about undisturbed chicken? My cook books are all about lists and bullet points, and you get poetic instructions?
    And salt–I do love salt. Hawai’i-style cooking is pretty salty in general, like you’ve gotten rolled by a wave and ended up with a mouthful of ocean–mmmmm. Handfuls of kosher salt would probably compare; sounds like the idea was the brine the chicken but you did it at warp speed. Salt might be the only thing I’ve actually got a year’s suppy of in my food storage. Rivenheart, I’m betting your mom keeps an awesome food storage!

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