Yes, you’re looking at perfectly-roasted chicken sitting atop 3 different starches (orzo and the last of those sweet Nantes carrots and Klamath Pearl potatoes), all covered in garlic-herb gravy. I’m getting really burned out on all the extra hours, the weather is back to shitty (has been for the past few weeks), and I need carbs and gravy. It’s Pacific Northwest “fuck the pain away” and beats a Xanax any day of the week.
A prissy little Draper Valley chicken, all spatchcocked and ready to go. I slit out her spine with a cheap Chinese cleaver for a quick stock. Some parsley stems and roasted duck bones from the freezer were good supplements. I stuffed her skin with a dozen smashed garlic cloves and massaged with olive oil, kosher salt and cracks of pepper.
So here’s my problem: like a teenager with Don’t Knock Her Up jitters, I always end up pulling it out a bit too soon. Even when I use the digital thermometer and let it beep its ass off at the right temp, when the skin is tawny, crackly perfection, and the juices are running clear from the thigh, when I start carving I end up elbow-deep in pink salmonella juice. Why does this always happen? Yes, I let the bitch rest before I start. I even propped it on a rack this time so the juices would drain (a stroke of genius: a steamer basket fits perfectly into the Le Creuset as a roasting rack, and I now realize this is imperative for really sublime fond and drippings). Always with the pink juices though. It’s infuriating.
Regardless, the breast was perfection and the gravy was amazing with a medley of roasted liver, shitakes and spring onions. I nestled the shitakes and onions under the chicken to roast (but on the rack, so they stayed moist but not swimming in fat and jus). Some parsley and thyme provided a kick of green to jostle the triptophan sedation.