Clearly we need more thread. Also, while I’ve sucked as a regular poster here for quite some time, I am, of course, the resident roast chicken obsessive, so as a way of overcoming my COVID-induced poster’s-block and in serving the jackaltariat, here’s a recently added recipe to the repertory that I can recommend without reservation.
My only edits are to add a tablespoon, more or less of Ricard (or any other anise-flavored digestif) and maybe a teaspoon or so of ground fennel, to kick up that flavor a bit. And I can emphasize the need to spread out the onions to get that richly caramelized effect. In our household, there are only two customers for this dish, so we usually cut the recipe in half or three quarters, and that works just fine. It’s really fast, really easy, and because of the tarragon/fennel combo, tastes very chic indeed, thank you very much.
Other than that? Like some here, I think, I’ve been spending most of my energy fighting off (or trying to) both targeted and free-floating dread, which is why I’ve been mostly absent. But yes: the world is better today than it was before 11/3–and even if the forces of darkness remain, and remain powerful, we’ve landed some shots. Which is, as they say of such things, a good start. (Note my careful tiptoeing around insulting the lawyers here. ;_)
So here’s looking for a much better 2021…and in anticipation of that consummation devoutly to be wished, here’s a little Tikka and Champ action to help the mood to the turn of the year:
First, one taken just a couple of minutes ago. I am a man rich in cats:
Next, how mountaineers are made.
Finally, here’s a portrait, to prove that I really suck at those “some assembly required” holiday gifts:
Here’s to better days, and the animals who help us get to them.
Banister cat! I should think the incline combined with the slick surface would win, but cats.
ETA are cats allowed to use stick-m? Could be the Fred Biletnikoff of cats
Champ’s growing too fast!
@debbie: Yes. But she’s still all kitten.
LOL. From the title of this post, I thought it was going to be about raising chickens, not cooking them. Oh well, maybe another day . . . .
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
Champ is a champ! I don’t think I’ve seen a cat climb a bannister like that.
Nice variant on one-pan roasted chicken. I’ll skip adding liqueur because it’s not popular in my household.
Gorgeous woodwork in your house…that the cats are also gorgeous goes without saying!
My husband says you need Shirley Temple and Bojangles on that staircase.
@Barbara: That’s cool. I do recommend adding some ground fennel seed, though.
@Scuffletuffle: Thanks! We used to joke we bought the house for the newell post. The place was close to a wreck when we bought it, but the previous owners, though they’d neglected the house, hadn’t renowrecked it either.
@zhena gogolia: That’s an image!
David ??Merry Christmas?? Koch
@trollhattan: I have a classic ford truck and when I work on it my cat likes to climb up the raised hood, which is about a 60 degree angle, to the very top on nothing but hard metallic paint. It’s mind boggling. I understand how they easily scale any wood based material, but metal.
@Scuffletuffle: Same observation I had as well as the thankful note that at least everything isn’t white and gray!
That shot of you, snoozed out, with a cat under each hand, is wonderful. As is the caption.
Champ is kitty perfection!
Wow, the Champ has grown!! He (she?) was so furry as a kitten , that I’m amazed at the smooth coat. But I’ve never looked after a kitten – all my cats have been older rescues – so don’t know how they ‘evolve’ from kit to cat. Are they getting along, now that Champ is more cat than kit? TARRAGON is my favourite herb – and I managed to sustain a big tray of fresh tarragon in my little tiny plastic greenhouse for a few years here in the W of Scotland, but an early unexpected frost killed it this November. So I am reduced to using commercial dried tarragon now until the spring when the local garden nurseries have fresh herbs plants I can buy. But I will try this recipe – I’ve a bag of free-range chicken thighs in the freezer, waiting for something besides a curry!! Greetings from Brexit Britain – the ‘deal’ of the century. In a letter to the UK Guardian today, someone wrote : “Don’t you just love the word ‘deal’? It smacks of some hand-spitting, shady arrangement, undertaken in haste at night about dodgy cars, poached game … and false promises about getting rich quick. What happened to ‘treaty’, ‘agreement’, ‘contract’, ‘accord’, ‘alliance’, all of which suggest fairness, honour, good value and long-term solidarity?” Prime Minister BoJo has fully adopted the jargon of Trump, his US compatriot.
Tikka and Champ action is always appreciated! It’s good to see they’ve adjusted to each other enough for you to snuggle them both at once.
Mine have an innate and exacting sense of distance that enables them to, consistently, be just far apart enough that I can scarcely ever do a double-snuggle. Instead, I cuddle with one while the other watches jealously, taking notes on exactly how much time the other cat got, and how many Favorite Spots got scritched.
Mine happen to be a mother and son. But they don’t like each other. At all. [[sigh]]
That first picture is great. Lying face down with your glasses on is living dangerously though. :)
@trollhattan: Cat on the banister makes me fear for the woodwork.
@mrmoshpotato: Yeah. Champ is a little too eager to climb more or less anything, so the kitchen cabinets, the newly upholstered sofa and the stair rails are all at risk. We’re training her, though, and she seems to be calming down before all we’re left with is shreds and splinters.
I think there was a discussion a few weeks ago about how wasteful Christmas trees are. For those worried about the waste, it turns out that they can be completely edible with some effort.
Im a roast chicken fiend myself. Usually go with the simple cut lemon and garlic cloves in the cavity. “Save the liver!”
Something (else) good slated for 2021–Peter Jackson is releasing a Beatles movie “Get Back” distilled from unseen vault footage of the lads. No orcs. A sampler.
I saw the first picture and my first thought was, “That CANNOT be Champ!” My goodness she hit her growth spurt but hard eh? I note also that Tikka is facing away from the interloper as you go in for a socially distanced snuggle. And of course he can even make the splayed leg shot look dignified.
@greenergood: I. LOVE. TARRAGON! It makes any seafood dish taste better. I have a recipe on TaMara’s website for chicken Provençal that could use some tarragon. Or a classic Béarnaise sauce à la Chef John. It’s just so versatile that it’s always part of my shopping run.
Also: I don’t know if it’s true in Scotland but is it me or is Thai basil easier to find now?
“If I weren’t supposed to hang on, why do I have needles on all my feet?”
Jim, Foolish Literalist
I have staircase envy
Also tarragon in eggs, tarragon in potatoes, tarragon in vegetables, tarragon all over!
Oooh what handsome house panthers! And the woodwork is stunning. The recipe I recognize from when I subscribed to FYNYT for the recipes and even that eventually was too much to them. But of course it puts me in mind of how can I get more sauce Bearnaise into my dinner and I think if you add white wine vinegar and white wine together during the marinade process (the recipes that use this for the sauce reduction usually do 1 part wine to 1/2 part vinegar) then in the end you have the makings of the sauce reduction as well as well-flavored bird parts, and all you need are hot clarified butter and two egg yolks. The trouble with recovering from bilateral hip replacement surgery is knowing you can just about stand up to make some coffee but the cooking fantasies never stop.
Slow day today. Very cold here in NYC, but at least it’s not raining anymore. Cooked up food for the day already (Japanese-style curry). Also decided that it’s time for a break from booze – just way too much for way too long this year…not every day but way too much relative to normal times. My birthday’s in early February, so I think a break for the rest of age 34 works for me. Also have been noticeably gaining weight, and cutting booze even marginally in the past has really helped on that front.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@PsiFighter37: a couple of friends and I are doing a dry January remote support group, and I’m throwing in meat, white flour, potatoes and most dairy (parmesan makes vegetables so much better…)
Recipe saved–it sounds wonderful
Agree with everyone about the gorgeous woodwork.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Ummmm, and what’s left? Besides the parmesan. ;-)
It’s one of my fave herbs, especially in scrambled eggs and chicken salad.
I can’t believe Champ is just waking up the banister. Dare I saw that this is the happiest I have ever seen Tikka?
Do we think he is happy to have a buddy, even if he wouldn’t admit it, if asked?
P.S. Tom, I think you should consider that last photo of Tikka for next year’s calendar.
This belongs here.
@trollhattan: Even got a bit of Billy Preston in there along with the lads.
Chicken a la Creme from Aki’s Kitchen.
Since poultry is the topic: just threw some chicken thighs in this amazing Korean marinade for grilling later. If you have an Asian market, you can probably get it there. Highly recommended.
@mrmoshpotato: Tank Cat needs to check out Daily Kos’s Sekret Sundae Army!
Hah. That’s a great term.
Also describes the house we bought.
The problem with this nym is vanity searches. Sometimes the blog drops into a cooking thread that makes it difficult to look up all those “clever” things I’ve said in the past
A woman from anywhere (formerly Mohagan)
@Scuffletuffle: My first thought exactly. I am jealous of the woodwork and that gorgeous banister.
I’m about to go start slicing onions (because, as we know, caramelizing them TAKES MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES). On the menu: celery root/carrot slaw (dressing = lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt, a little oil, and some boiled cider), and venison cheese steaks, with home made pretzel rolls, the aforementioned onions, mushrooms, and camembert cheese. and beer. My friend has a 7-year vertical of Anchor Christmas ale, but only one of 2014, so we’re going to save that one for next year, in the hope that we can share with beer-drinking friends of ours in person. Thus; currently consuming half of a Sketchbook oatmeal stout (Common Culture; Turbulence will perhaps be a dessert beer tonight).
@Tarragon: LMAO! Well played.
A woman from anywhere (formerly Mohagan)
@trollhattan: I foster kittens for the local animal shelter. Watching young kittens figure out their bodies is very entertaining. In our latest litter, they had discovered they could climb just everything they tried, using their claws (carpet covered cat condos, our jeans covered legs, the sofa, etc.) But unfortunately, they could not climb the drywalled wall, although they gave it a good try :-)
A woman from anywhere (formerly Mohagan)
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Me too!!
@Tom Levenson: Looking through windows in the evening, it seems ours is the only 1920s foursquare on the street with painted woodwork.
A neighbor two houses down stripped and refinished all of his. I started and didn’t finish. Sadly, it’s not going to get done and I’m going to repaint it next summer.
@A woman from anywhere (formerly Mohagan): Famous newel posts in film:
Its A Wonderful Life
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.
@UncleEbeneezer: The Korean markets will even have the chicken pre-marinated, that’s usually what madame gets and has me grill it.
We have a 2-year old tabby who is still full of kitten energy.
He will climb up to the top of our 11 ft tall artificial Christmas tree through the inside branches and snatch ornaments off from the top of the tree which he brings up to my daughters bedroom upstairs to leave as offerings. He is basically her cat. Only the bird and animal ornaments which he obsesses with. I have walked by and seen his head poking out of the greenery 10′ up.
Which cat climbs best? The one with the highest mew…
“Then, in 2014, it happened….”
Just buy the fucking chicken at Costco
best chicken ever
and only 4.99
We talking one of those rotisserie chickens?
@Tom Levenson: And she still has outsize ears, which for some reason really tickles me.
BTW, in the second photo – the one where Champ is about to launch off the newell post – what is that on the wall behind her? It looks like someone started a photorealist portrait of a Large Shaggy Dog, but gave up on it after the shoulders.
The Dark Avenger
This is how to make absurdly simple roast chicken.
Pat dry the bird with paper towels
Apply butter or other oil/fat as one sees fit, or not.
Season the outside thoroughly with salt, pepper, granulated onion and garlic, herbs are optional along with paprika or any variants dictated by custom or taste.
Cook in a 250-275 oven 2-3 hours, use a rack if you want all the skin crispy. Tent the bird with aluminum foil. For the last 20 or 25 min, cook at 425 to get the skin crispy. All juices should run clear, and use a meat thermometer to check when it’s done.
@The Dark Avenger: Or google Zuni Cafe Roast Chicken. The only drawback to that one is the requirement to dry brine for one to three days ahead of time.
@frosty: I remember looking at a beautiful old house in 1976. All the beautiful oak woodwork had been painted white, and the owner of the house was bragging about it. “This was all that old dark wood, and we painted it!”
And then he told us the kitchen had “just” been renovated. It looked pretty vintage, so we asked when it had been renovated, and he said, again proudly, “1946”.
Pete Jackson couldn’t find any footage of Allen Klein?
@Yutsano: Thai basil? In Scotland? Perhaps in the sophisticated areas of Edinburgh and maybe even the west end of Glasgow, but here in the hinterland, just plain basil is sooper-dooper! ;-)
“My dinner parties have become lackluster. Is this a good dish to serve to liven them up?”
“Yes. Once your party guests have their first taste, that’s when the fennel begin.”
@Frosty Fred: We had Zuni’s roast chicken salad with pine nuts, olives, and bitter greens (somewhat modified) for dinner tonight. So good. The roast chicken was yesterday’s dinner, using Simon Hopkinson’s recipe. So good, so easy.
@Tom Levenson: wow, you really must have worked hard on it…absolutley stunning!