French Friday for Dorie
I was paging through “Around My French Table” with my husband and giving him French lessons. I only know the food words so when I do go to Paris as long as I stay in restaurants I’m ok. Anyway, I was telling him that “les paresseux” meant “lazy people”. When I then told him that for our Sunday dinner I would be making Dorie Greenspan’s Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux he dryly muttered that that true les paresseux would just go to Costco and buy one of those already roasted birds. So smart the man I married, right?
I won’t castigate those who go for those poor birds that sit there in the market deli cases for hours covered in their salty flavorings. They can be quite good and I do think Costco does them the best. We all ‘go there’ from time to time. Too damn convenient. But after reading this month’s FFWD assignment and then cooking the bird I somewhat wondered why most modern cooks seem to have plainly lost the ability to roast a chicken? Its one of the most basic cooking skills there is and also one of the most rewarding — yet it is becoming a thing of the past. This exercise served to remind me that while it might be easy to pick one up at the market, it will never compare to anything like this.
And this was just the ‘lazy’ version. There are probably as many roast chicken recipes as there are kitchen cooks in the world. There are many benefits to roasting your own that you can’t get with either the supermarket roasted or package of chicken parts. You can get a bigger bird that will either feed more or last you longer, making it a much more economical endeavor in the long run. Additionally, there are those pan juices and sauces you can make from! Just try that with that pair of boneless breast of chicken halves! Practically priceless is the incredible smell that takes over the whole house as the chicken roasts. And the carcass! Once picked over you can make your own velvety chicken stock that will far outweighs anything you can buy. (Just ask The Ina. Don’t you get a kick out of how each time she calls for chicken stock in a soup or stew she has to tell us yet again how much better home make is than canned. We know already!)
Roast Chicken for Les Paresseux
This particular recipe calls for resting the bird on slices of bread in the bottom of a dutch oven. As the bird cooks, the fat drips into the bread, then gets crisp. She recommended mashing then spreading the cooked livers over this crispy goodness. I mashed the liver with one of the softened garlics from inside the bird and I have to tell you that this tasty treat alone is worth never picking up a preroasted bird from Costco ever again. Seriously. It was that good and this bonus treat alone might be enough to displace what had been my ‘go to’ recipe for roast chicken ever since Ms. Fig taught me her infamous Beer Can Up The Butt Chicken.
And unless the French eat their roasted chicken right out of the roasting pan and use paper plates I don’t see what is so lazy about this endeavor!