The seminarian and I are cooking dinner. Here's the menu:
Spaghetti con aglio y olio (garlic and olive oil)
Green beans a la seminario (meaning, however he cooks them)
The chickens are roasting now. I got two because they were small, and you never know if someone might stop by. Here's how I prepared them.
Starting this morning, I brined them. Easy, by the way: a cup of coarse salt in four quarts of water, and the chickens soak in that for five or six hours. Then I let them dry for an hour or so in the refrigerator--that's supposed to make the skin crispier, we'll see.
Then took some garlic cloves, and some herb butter I had left over, and slid that--along with some of the fat of the chicken--up between the breast and the skin. I rubbed each of the whole chickens with more of the butter, and a little olive oil and seasoned them liberally with pepper and salt. I stuck some sprigs of fresh rosemary in the cavity of each, along with a sliced up onion.
They went, side by side, in a roasting pan, and I cut up some more onion and broke up a few carrots and celery stalks, and threw them into the pan, along with some chicken broth and a bit of water. That'll make a nice sauce and also add to the flavor of the chicken and the good odor in the kitchen. I thought about throwing in a cut up lemon but decided against it.
Meanwhile, on the stove top I have the tails of the chickens, along with some onion -- skins and all -- and some celery leavings, cooking to make some broth. For some reason, these chickens didn't come with giblets! That was a surprise. Oh, and I found some shallots in the fridge--I have no idea how old they are--but they weren't soft or moldy, so I threw them in.
Sorry for no photos of any of this, but the seminarian is upstairs writing a paper on Saint Augustine. I have an El Cheapo phone that takes no pictures. (I just remembered my iPad takes pictures--oops.)
We'll see if we get any pictures of the later stages.
Meanwhile, I'm eating celery hearts. A lot of people won't eat them; but they're very tasty, with a little salt. And I'm thinking about a cocktail--I haven't had one all during Lent.
Ah, dinner is behind us! The chicken turned out pretty well. As it happened, the dark meat was a little underdone, but the white meat was perfect. The next time I roast a chicken, I'll just turn it breast-side down, as before, and that solves the problem of the white meat cooking too soon.
The combination of the pasta, the green beans, all garlicky--and the chicken with so many good flavors...oh, so good!
We never got to the cheesecake, however; we had a fair amount of chicken and pasta and beans...and some beer with it...the cheesecake can wait.
And--plenty of leftovers! Ah!
(Sorry for no pictures; but when the time came to eat...we ate!)