Le Coq au Crock
Recipe: Crock Pot Chicken
Over the years I’ve regularly come across recipes for roast chicken that call for bunging the whole bird into a crock pot and just letting it go for four or five hours, and although I find nothing to quibble with in terms of the labor involved (next to none), I have up to now shied away from this approach mostly on principal. To me, the crackly skin and pan drippings of an oven roasted bird are among its main attractions.
Also, most crock pot recipes rely on spice rubs for flavor, and I just can’t seem to go there. I know people love them and the food cognoscenti swear by them, but in my experience they disappoint, usually because they are overly salty, inedibly spicy or both. Three bites into the Moroccan lamb and I’m parched and coughing, leaving me with no alternative but to wash it all down with vast oceans of beer, which – in addition to being an integral part of the backyard grilling experience – is the only cure for the double header of excessive salinization and digestive conflagration. Trust me, no good can come of that.
Just ask the nice folks who invited us over for a barbecue last year and ended up having to help Mr. Slattern wrestle me into the car at three AM sobbing about the ’03 ALCS and ranting about “that-pussy-Alex-Rodriguez-and-his-asshole-buddy-Jeter.” Needless to say, we were not invited back and subsequent letters of apology were returned to sender. I suspect our hosts may have since left the state. I was also informed that a lesser man would have considered that behavior to be grounds. Point taken.
I am NOT a foodie
Hi Everybody. My name is K. Nice to be here. Well, not really. See, I don’t have a food problem. It’s just that one of my blog buddies, The Byronic Man, recently referred to me as a foodie, and it got me thinking about how I’m perceived by others, so I decided to drop by, you know, just to check out a meeting.
In fact, high end cooking is not what I do. I’m more of a slap-it-on-the-table-so-I-can-get-back-to-cocktail-hour kind of cook. Food is just a blip on my screen. Really. I can stop anytime I want.
And by the way I know what you’re doing with Ritz crackers and Cheez Wiz on the table there. I see the green bean casserole. What’s that meatloaf thing? Secret treasure loaf* — never heard of it. I could eat those. If I wanted to. And that Semi-Homemade video playing on an endless loop in the corner? That doesn’t bother me one stinking bit. See? I’m looking at it right…OH MY GOD tell me she didn’t just dredge those chicken cutlets in Knorr leek soup powder before she fried them!
I’m OK, I’m OK. I just need to sit down for a minute. Can I have a glass of water, please? Thank you. Is this from the tap? You don’t have sparkling by any chance?
What’s that you said? I’m not doing anything, just straightening the cocktail napkins and making sure the folds are all on the same side. No, that’s not OCD, it’s just good manners. If you don’t believe me, just ask M….Nothing, I didn’t say anything. I certainly was NOT going to invoke Martha. I hardly know who she is — if she hadn’t gone to jail, I bet I wouldn’t even have recognized the name.
Hey! Get your mitts out of my bag. That’s not MY Martha Stewart Living. I’m just holding it for a friend. There were two copies at the gym this morning, you know how it is. No, that is not my name on the mailing label. That’s…my mom. Well I expect she’s trying to firm up a bit too, or maybe she was just looking for me in the spin room one day. Ever think of THAT? Oh alright, but I just read it for the crafts.
Blog? Yes, I write a blog, but it’s primarily a humor blog, you see, not a cooking one. My persona is just a foil, an avatar, you know an excuse to make a joke. I am in no way serious about food. Look it up on your iPad, there Mr. C, I urged people to use pie crust mix! No self respecting foodie would do that.
Pardon, Mr. C? Béchamel? I may have mentioned it once or twice. In passing. Oh c’mon man. Recommending that people make béchamel instead of opening a can of cream of mushroom soup hardly rises to the level of obsession. That’s a healthy eating suggestion, like lowering your sodium or using free range chickens instead of Purdue, both of which recommendations I am proud to say I’ve made. What I’m really providing is a public service. Promoting health, you dig? Sure I know the difference between white and black truffles, and I have even been known to shop at Fairway. But I buy Cheerios and little mini quiches there just like everyone else.
You understand, it’s mostly that I just detest the term foodie. You know how Baby Jane felt about Blanche, or Varitek feels about A-Rod (or how I do for that matter)? The term “foodie” is juvenile and implies a pretentious mania, and while I admit I do occasionally dangle a toe into the mania pond (mostly at the dipso- end), I am in no way obsessed with food.
What’s that you say? Nadia G? You wouldn’t. Oh my God, no, not that. Please, I just can’t. I can’t bear it. I’ll do anything, just don’t start that video. I AM BEGGING YOU.
Thank you. Really, I couldn’t have stood it. What’s that Mr. B? Oh I don’t know, maybe you’re right. I guess I should start again.
Hi Everybody. My name is K and I am a foodie.
Can’t we at least find another name for it?
* Secret Treasure Loaf: A loaf of ground Spam cubes with a Velveeta cheese center topped with a layer of hot Velveeta. Really.
Hey folks, As you’ve no doubt noticed, this post was Freshly Pressed. As this is my first go round with the process, please forgive me if I don’t answer each and every comment. I am most grateful for your presence and will try to visit you as soon as I get my thumb out of my mouth and dig out from under this mountain of attention. Many thanks again to The Byronic Man, for
irking inspiring me to write this. At the risk of losing your custom to his far superior blog, let me urge you to take a peek at his oeuvre. As oeuvres go, it’s mighty impressive.
Spice Up Your Hump Day
Turkey vegetable chili: One bowl fits all.
Feeding my household is challenging at best. I am the only mammal eater, so there’s no upside to making beef or pork. In fact it’s come to the point where I have to take my steak or burger into another room to spare my loved ones the traumatizing smell of charred, formerly sentient flesh. Salt and cheese are off the menu owing to Mr. Slattern’s health concerns, the apple of my eye dislikes potatoes, I’m trying to avoid pasta and bread, and serving beans more than once a week would be, gastrically speaking, unfortunate on an Old Testament scale. Let’s just leave it at that.
So it’s fish or chicken or turkey or fish most nights, except on omelette night, or in the event of a sit down strike, which in my house is shorthand for I’m sick of cooking, out of ideas and borrowing patience, so unless you’re prepared to have cereal (and in my case, vodka) for dinner — yes, again — we’d best go out.
Carving and Cracking
I can’t carve a cooked bird to save my life. Even sober. Though let’s be honest I can’t even recall the last time I got to the carving stage with my feet in my shoes and my bra on the inside of my sweater. I start pretty well, but eventually am reduced to tearing away at the flesh with my fingers and flinging it on the platter so as to get it to the table while it’s still warm and the guests are still upright. Anyways, the always helpful Jamie Oliver has a video on his site demonstrating how to carve up a chicken and it looks so easy I may even try it again myself. By the way, that’s one of Jamie’s minions (presumably a relative) who carves up the bird. When I first cued it up I thought I’d opened that pesky time machine by mistake again.
Now, I was considering starting a video series myself, but then I was thinking maybe I don’t have any particular skills to demonstrate. That was until I clicked on Jamie’s video of how to prepare a cooked lobster, and let me tell you that is just wrong. As I may have mentioned, I grew up in Maine where lobster shells are used as teething rings, and if there’s one thing I’m really good at, it’s extracting every last shred of edible foodstuffs from a lobster. And I don’t need no stinking knife to do it either, Blondie. So stay tuned.
If you’re wondering how to choose a lobster (or any seafood for that matter), take a stroll through my archives.
Is it just me, or does this look as unappealing as it is unhealthy?
This is Giada De Laurentiis’s Roman Chicken, which the Food Network is touting as a “healthy choice,” presumably to pander to all those soon-to-be-blown New Year’s resolutions. Now, I assume the Food Network employs a passel of food stylists, cooks and photographers to ensure that each and every dish is shown to its best advantage, with maximum visual appeal, promising a party in your mouth. So how to account for this? Is it me, or does this look like it’s already been chewed and partially digested? Puzzling.