15 July 2010

Too-stupid-to-cook chicken

In our house, Mrs. Dude cooks Monday-Thursday (sometimes Monday-Friday). I cook on the weekends. Weeknights are a rush. From the time we get home, we have a little over an hour and a half to serve dinner and get Bbq Jr (age: 4) into bed.

But on Fridays, we let Bbq Jr stay up a bit later. This gives us time to cook a Too-stupid-to-cook chicken, as described by Michael Ruhlman:
Americans are being taught that we’re too stupid to cook. That cooking is so hard we need to let other people do it for us. The messages are everywhere. Boxed cake mix. Why is it there? Because a real cake is too hard! You can’t bake a cake! Takes too long, you can’t do it, you’re gonna fail!

Look at all those rotisserie chickens stacked in the warming bin at the grocery store. Why? Because roasting a chicken is too hard, takes FOREVER. An hour. I don’t have an hour to watch a chicken cook!

Companies that make microwaveable dinners have spent countless R&D dollars to transform dishes that used to take 7 minutes in the microwave into ones that take 3 minutes. “Hey, Marge, that’s four minutes of extra TEEvee we can watch!”
Here's the deal. This chicken takes about 70 minutes, from the time you unwrap the chicken, until the time you carve it. Ten minutes to heat up the oven, and 60 minutes to cook. Plus, if you have a loyalty card at the grocer's, this chicken costs all of $3.50 (plus onion, lemon and herbs). In our case, the lemon and thyme is free (friends' garden for lemon, our garden for thyme). Yum.  This is perfect on a Friday night, when we let Bbq Jr. stay up a bit later.

Preheat your oven to 450 °F. Okay, here we go. Chop an onion in half. Peel it. Chop a lemon in half. Chop off a large bunch of thyme.

Chicken stuffing

If you have time, warm the chicken to room temp (about half an hour). We don't have time on a Friday night, so we skip this step and get a *slightly* less perfect skin. But really, the skin will still be fairly awesome... Dry off the outside of a chicken. Pull the neck and giblets out of the chicken. (We save these for chicken stock, you can discard them if that's not your thing). Stuff the lemon, thyme and onion in the cavity. Rub 1 tbsp of kosher salt all over the skin of the chicken.

Raw chicken

Place the chicken in an oven-friendly pan. Place in oven. Cook for one hour. Remove from oven.

Too stupid to cook chicken

Serve. This is the best & cheapest fast dinner you will ever serve your family. Promise.

Serve with a lovely pinot, and this becomes a fancy dinner:


What a lovely Friday evening.


Gary House, The "Outdoor Cook" said...

Your right, super simple to prepare and equaly low in cost to produce as a meal but very high in taste. Have you ever tried an orange inside? I do that with my Turkeys. Yumm....

Bbq Dude said...

Never tried that, but sounds tasty.

Post a Comment