I Love to Cook!
Because I love to cook so much, it doesn't take much to get me in the mood to do it. I woke up this morning and, as I usually do I checked the outside temperature and it was 67°! I went around the house opening windows and turned off my central air conditioning. The main reason I love central air, is that I really can’t stand the heat, so I really love turning it off, but, back to the open windows and the lovely fresh air. I took a cup of coffee and a book and went to sit outside and read.
“The Year of Pleasures” by Elizabeth Berg is what I am reading, and about ten pages in I realized I have already read this book, but, I decided to read it anyway. Elizabeth Berg must be a devoted, if not a wonderful cook. Her characters, particularly Betta, in this book, make wonderful sounding food. The descriptions so evocative I can smell the roast chicken cooking, and taste the blueberry-cranberry pie. The combination of reading this book and the cool air have put me in the mood to cook!
Right this minute I am sitting on my deck, typing and thinking about what I should make, for you, for me to tell you about, to share with you, and if I could, invite you to share it with me. I have been thinking about the recipe that I mentioned in a previous post. I said I would post that recipe, but I haven’t yet because I knew I would need to make it again to be sure about it, and I have been feeling too hot to take on a roast anything. I know I won’t be able to replicate it exactly— I made it over twenty years ago without a recipe, so will pretty much have to reinvent it, so please indulge me.
Since the last time I made this dish I have owned a restaurant, attended culinary school, cooked in a variety of kitchens, and for a variety of patrons. I have catered fancy diner parties and casual events, I have eaten many excellent meals cooked by professionals and skilled home cooks, I have roasted countless chickens, and stuffed about one third of those. I think if anything, this chicken will be better than that one was, though the memory of that meal cannot be replaced.
I hope when you read this, or some of my other posts I can inspire you to make wonderful food. If you're reading this, then I guess you too love to cook, and if there is something you've been dying to make, or been wondering about making let me know, and we can tackle it together. Fall is coming, it really is, and then I'm going to be cooking my ass off! I'm getting ready, already planning my cool weather menus and posts, and if there is something you'd like me to talk about, write about, or a recipe you're hunting for, please let me know, because I love to cook, and I'd love to cook for you!
Preheat oven to 375f
1 3-4 Lb. Chicken (I prefer organic, but that is your call)
1 Cup Cooked Long Grain White or Brown Rice
1 Cup Cooked Wild Rice
4 Oz. Soft, Fresh (not aged) Goat Cheese (I use the type that comes in a log)
1/2 Onion, diced
8 Oz. White Mushrooms, chopped
1/2 Bunch Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
4 TBL Butter
Pat chicken dry, and set aside
Melt 2 TBL butter in a sauté pan and sauté onions until soft
Add mushrooms, and continue to sauté until most of the liquid has evaporated
Add parsley and remove from heat
In a Bowl, mix together rices, onion-mushroom mixture add 2 Tsp Salt, and Pepper to taste
Crumble cheese into mix
Gently stuff mixture into cavity of chicken and either tie legs together, or use a metal or wood skewer to 'sew' the cavity closed*
Rub the chicken with the remaining butter and liberally salt skin
Roast on a rack at 375f for 20 minutes
After 20 minutes, baste chicken with pan drippings, lower heat to 350f and continue to roast another 30 minutes, until skin is golden brown and juices of chicken run clear when pierced with a long fork, and internal temperature of stuffing is 155f
Let bird with for 10-15 minutes covered loosely with foil or a damp dish towel Remove leg and thigh quarters (separate if you like) and put on platter. Scoop out stuffing to a serving bowl
Cut away both sides of breast, remove wings and place with legs, lay the breast pieces on a board and slice crosswise. Lift with knife to keep the breast section together and place on platter. To make a sauce, skim off fat from roasting pan, stir in 2 TBL of flour, and stir for five minutes, add a splash of white wine or sherry and reduce until syrup-y
*If you have any extra stuffing bake in a buttered dish for the last half hour the chicken is roasting