Wednesday, November 9, 2011

When it comes to roasting, I'm a little chicken.

Ladies and gentleman, a culinary first for yours truly.

Today, for the first time ever, I am brining and roasting chickens. No stranger to all sorts of gastronomic feats of all ethnicities and degrees of difficulty, if there is something I am lacking in my repertoire it's is a firm grasp of the basics. I've neither brined nor roasted a chicken. I could not reliably prepare a roast of any kind without extensive research. Large slabs of meat intimidate me.

Until today.

I made two fowl little friends at the grocery store the other day and enticed them into my cart. Today I set them free to swim in a pool laden with entirely too much salt and sugar, and in a few short minutes I will extract them from their murky waters, give them a good towelling off and lay them out to work up a nice golden brown in their very own tanning beds. Sounds lovely, doesn't it? Think about that during your next day at the beach.

I have been assured by many sources that these will be the most flavourful, most succulent birds that ever roamed, and eventually roasted, on this earth. I feel that it is inevitable that I will experience some level of disappointment, so impossibly glorious has been the build-up. But I am nonetheless optimistic.

Why two chickens, you ask? Well, I have made a grim discovery this week. While I have for some time been aware that deli meat is laden with sodium and all kinds of preservatives that will in all likelihood shorten our life expectancies to some degree, I was under the comfortable illusion that "oven roasted", "low sodium" options left me relatively in the clear. I was wrong. It turns out that even the "healthiest", most "naturally processed" -- oxymoron alert! -- deli meats are preserved with known, or at least suspected, carcinogens including a most benign sounding one called "dried celery extract". So I have gotten it into my head to start a regular...ambitious, I know...routine of roasting meat for sandwiches. So one of our juicy little temptations will make its debut on our dinner table tonight, while the other will be sliced and will feature in E's lunch bag tomorrow.

Just call me Julia!

Pictures to follow...

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