February 26, 2010

We’re continuing to eat in for the week, along with so many others (check the hashtag #eatin on Twitter.) It’s been lots of fun for me, I’ve been busy cooking all sorts of things, testing out recipes.

For day three’s dinner, I made a Peruvian style roast chicken. I was inspired to get this chicken recipe written and all the ingredients measured out (I’ve made it before, but never bothered to measure) for the Food52 contest this week – Your Best Roast Chicken. Already, every single recipe entered looks fantastic. I like this one and this one, too.

The fact is, I just love roast chicken. But this Peruvian recipe is one of my favorite ways to enjoy a small roaster. Tasty, spicy, easy. And the leftovers are just great.

We had rice, to which I added green olives and toasted almonds. And I oven roasted some golden turnips from the CSA that were sensational.
Day four of the Eat In and our fridge is full of little bowls of this and that. I declare it’s time for a leftover dinner, and supplement the daal, steak, chicken, black beans and rice with a loaf of no-knead bread and this delicious carrot soup from Food & Wine.
I also made a pot of cheesy grits specifically so I could have leftover grits to make grit cakes. That’s what I have been craving for breakfast, and I made enough for the next three or four days. I bought these Hoppin John grits at the Bethesda Central Farm Market last Sunday from Anna St. John. Anna carries grits, meal and flour from Hoppin John, as well as her own homemade raviolis and soups, and Dylan’s favorite snack – seriously crunchy Dog Balls.
The Eat In has been a fun way to chronicle the cooking this week. But I have to say, I’ve been missing my garden this week, and hope the snow will retreat soon so I can get back my balanced life – in and out, kitchen and garden.
I did sneak out through the snow this afternoon to get this picture of a few snowdrops, about to burst into bloom. Spring really is around the corner.
Peruvian Style Roast Chicken with Roasted Garlic

Buttermilk Brine
3 c buttermilk
2 crushed garlic cloves
4 T white wine vinegar
2 T Kosher salt
One 3 to 3.5# roasting chicken – from the farmers market, pastured, grass fed

Peruvian Style Rub
1 medium head garlic
1 tsp olive oil
4 T softened butter
1 T hot Hungarian paprika or smoked paprika, or a combination – depending on personal preference
1 t turmeric
1 t ground cumin
1/2 t salt
3 limes
3-4 sprigs gresh thyme
1/2 c chicken broth

Soak the chicken in the buttermilk brine for 3-4 hours. I use a ziplock bag, as it’s easier to get the buttermilk all around the chicken.
Roast the head of garlic. Slice off the top of the head, exposing all the cloves. Drizzle oil between all the cloves, and wrap the whole thing up in foil. Bake for about an hour at 350. I use the toaster oven.
Squeeze all the tasty roasted garlic out into a small mixing bowl. Add the butter and spices, and the juice of one lime, and make a paste.
Remove the chicken and brine from the refrigerator. Rinse the chicken and throw away the brine. Pat the chicken dry. Rub the paste under the skin of the breast and thighs and then over the entire chicken. Tuck one or two quartered limes in the cavity and truss the chicken loosely.
Allow the chicken to come to room temperature and the paste to season the chicken – about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 475 with the rack in the bottom third of the oven. In good weather, I use my outdoor gas grill as an oven. It heats up faster and hotter than the oven. Get out a heavy cast iron skillet.
Heat the skillet for 3 minutes on high heat. Add a shimmer of canola or other oil and get that good and hot, too. Another minute or two.
Slip in the chicken, back side down, into the skillet, and then place the skillet in the oven (or on the grill.)
The chicken will take about 5o min. to one hour. The only reliable test is a thermometer reading of 160.
Remove the chicken from the oven/grill and put it on the stove, over high heat. Add the thyme and 1/2 c chicken stock, then spoon the broth over the chicken. Allow the bird to rest for 10 minutes, then quarter and serve.
I pair this chicken with rice spiked with green olives and toasted almonds and a roasted vegetable or lightly dressed salad.

One Response to “Still Eating In – Days Three & Four”

  1. Kate T.W.

    This is fantastic. I'm almost hungry, even though I just had a delicious meal of snazzed up leftovers. I've been eating in pretty much all the time now that my partner is out of work. Good to have so much company this week! I look forward to trying these recipes. They are mouthwatering.

    I find that a trick to eating in all the time is to eat in at other people's houses, and invite them over. Since I started cooking more we've been having more dinner parties, which feels fun, abundant, and still saves money.


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