Saturday, April 3, 2010

CSA Chicken #2 - Just A Little Guy, Roasted on Day Old Bread

On our most recent meat CSA pick up, we recieved:

two small packages of ground beef
a package of country style pork ribs
3 little lamb chops
a huge brick of FRESH BACON (psyched out of my mind about this, and taking suggestions for how to use it)
an itty bitty whole chicken

For sunday dinner last week, I roasted that little tiny chicken up for our dinner.

First I got the neck and giblets out of the cavity. Then I made a brine:

1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
a lot of water (about 2 quarts), all mixed together in a big bowl

and lowered the chicken into there. Cook's illustrated wants you to refrigerate it at this point, I never do. Our apartment is cold enough. I left it the brine for about 40 minutes, it should have been an hour, if I'd had time.

I had seen a "good thing" in a Martha Stewart about if you have some day old baguette, to use it, torn up on a baking sheet, instead of a rack, for roasting chicken. I had the hard end of a loaf of sourdough bread I had made (I made my own starter! I'll post about it eventually), and this seemed like such a delicious idea and a great frugal way to use up bread that was getting too hard to chew (which is the state the sourdough was in, truth be told).

I took the chicken out of the brine, dried it off, put the torn up bread (it might have equalled maybe a half a baguette) in Jenean's 9x13 pyrex glass baking dish, put the chicken on it breast side down, painted it all over with melted butter and a little olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and put it in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes, at which time I flipped it over, painted that side with melted butter, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and added a little water to the bottom of the pan, because the bread was already toasting up beautifully and I was afraid it might burn if it was too dry down there, as the chicken still had about 30 minutes to go. I turned the oven down to 325 for about 20 minutes, and back up to 450 for the last 10 minutes. This was probably not necessary - you should try just leaving it at 400 the whole time.

When the juices from the thigh ran clear it was done. We ate it
with mashed potaters and roasted broccoli and carrots, and the gorgeous crispy pieces of bread, which had soaked up the juices from the chicken and roasted into sort of giant croutons. There was just enough left for Jenean and Axel to both have some for lunch the next day.

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