A new chicken recipe and thinking again!

I subscribe to the Nosher, an email service that sends out Jewish recipes, some with a touch of food history (https://www.myjewishlearning.com/the-nosher/). It’s right up my alley.

The other week, I used one of my whole chickens from the freezer, some rice, and the two sweet potatoes waiting in the pantry to make Crispy Chicken with Rice and Sweet Potato (https://www.myjewishlearning.com/the-nosher/crispy-lemon-chicken-with-rice-and-sweet-potato-recipe/?utm_source=Nosher_Maropost&utm_campaign=Nosher&utm_medium=email). It turned out really good, a keeper recipe, and maybe one for company. The source of the recipe is the I Heart Kosher: Beautiful Recipes from My Kitchen book.

Start with 2 cleaned and sliced sweet potatoes, 1 large onion and 1 lemon also sliced, 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce*, 1 tsp onion powder, 4 sprigs thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme and 1 whole, butterflied+ chicken, extra skin and fat trimmed.

* I googled replacements for Worcestershire sauce, an ingredient I’ve never had in my kitchen. Miso was recommended; I used it.  

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Toss the sliced sweet potato and onion in oil and arrange in a roasting pan. Place the lemon slices over them. Mix the juice of one lemon (zest it before juicing, you’ll need the zest) with the Worcestershire sauce or miso, onion powder, and thyme. Rub the mixture into the chicken, coating it as much possible. Put the chicken into the roasting pan, skin side up.

Next, rinse and drain 1 cup of long-grain white rice. Place into a small bowl; mix in 1 tsp olive oil, ½ tsp turmeric, the reserved lemon zest, and salt and pepper.  Scatter the rice around the chicken in the roasting pan. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over the rice, not on the bird. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and return to oven for 30 more minutes. (The rice on the top did not cook fully. I’ll have to try again to fix this. I liked the crispy rice.)

+ I get curious about certain terms. Recent recipes have included instructions to spatchcock a chicken (17th century from “dispatch the cock”). This recipe specifies “butterfly.” Back to Google to find out that apparently, butterfly refers to slicing chicken breasts to open the two thinner pieces as you would open a book or like a butterfly. Spatchcock is when you cut the chicken lengthwise down the spine and flatten it. Of course, par for the course with Google, another entry states that they are both the same process! Either way the result is supposed cook a bird more quickly with crispy skin. Our chicken was very good.

Thinking. This is a dangerous occupation. I while ago, I shared some thoughts about tomatoes (see 1-21-22 post). I still do wonder (I could use the library to find the answers) what cooking in Europe and North Africa was like prior to the opening of the Western Hemisphere.

Recently, I’ve taken two more road trips. One for work I’m doing with an up and coming small museum two hours north of home. Yesterday, it was a 3.5 hour trip across that state to meet someone about plans for a much longer trip in the fall. When I drive alone, I have to take my “road food” otherwise known as junk food. My usual choices are crunchy and salty rather than sweet. I had two types of tortilla chips and pretzels. I forgot my healthier choice, almonds. They are my Big Brother’s food of choice.

As I carefully munched my somewhat spicy chips, my thoughts went back to diets of youth. One of the touted diet foods long ago was celery. The thought promoted was that when you eat these crispy stalks, you chew them many, many times expending more calories than they hold. I wondered as I drove along, how about tortilla chips? If I took small bites, rather than tossing the whole chip into my mouth, and chewed a number of times, would I neutralize the caloric count? Well, I have no solution to this – perhaps it’s to take celery on my next road trip? Thinking can be dangerous …

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