Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Welp, that needs to be in and around my mouth... ASAP

This blog includes recipes for "drunken, roasted chicken" and "Pinterest broccoli".

     I know you've all missed me with the fire of a thousand burning suns, but I'm back! (Momentarily, or until my next bout of ADD hits me in the face). Of course, the same excuses; work and school, which is what my life mainly consists of. I'm hella busy. But, still cooking!

     This go around, I'm going to teach you all how to roast a delectable bird that will give you that moment of clarity when you bite into good food, close your eyes... and you're taken to a place of food euphoria. Plus, it got the roommate approval. Which is very important. Oh, and did I mention, it has booze on it. WIN.

Drunken, Roasted Chicken

This, my lovelies, is my victim. This poor, little Patti Jean rock Cornish game hen. Tragic, but damn, that bird's delicious. Plus, as you can see in comparison to my hand, it's not that big. It feeds 2-3 people, which is great when you live with one other person. If you're feeding 4+ people, or my brothers, buy a couple birds. Next time, I'm going to roast two; one to eat and one for leftovers. Especially so I have something to bring to work so I'm not stuck eating watermelon and a microwaved potato for lunch. I kid you not, that is what I had for lunch today.

Stuff You Will Need:
  • A cornish game hen
  • An apple, preferably a green one. Or an orange. That'll work, too.
  • An onion
  • 6 cloves of garlic (You know it's a Lindsey recipe when....)
  • Olive oil
  • Some form of clear-ish alcohol (I used beer, it calls for white wine)
  • A chicken bouillon cube (This is basically a condensed cube of salt that makes water taste like chicken noodle soup broth)
  • Rosemary

     To start off, you need to thaw the bird. AKA, put in room temperature water (I fill the sink up and let the bird swim before it's tragic end) for approximately 3-4 hours. When you cook chicken, turkey, Cornish game hens, whatever, it needs to be thawed or it will cook unevenly, and you will have wasted time on a potentially delectable dish.

     So, I let the hen thaw for about 3 hours, and because I was in a rush, I unwrapped the hen and put it in a bowl of water so it was submerged and added 1/4 c. of salt. I'm not going to get all scientific on ya, but, it has to do with osmosis and salt replacing water in the chicken. (I think). In simple terms, it salts the bird.

If you're a vegetarian, this is the time to scroll down... VERY quickly.
(Go to the broccoli section).
  1. Leave the bird wrapped, and thaw it in cold water for 3-4 hours. (This time will change if you're thawing a chicken or turkey).
  2. Unwrap the bird.
  3. Let the hen sit in a salt water mixture. (I used about 2 gallons of water with 1/4 cup of salt. I'd let this mixture sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours).
  4. Once you've let the hen do its thing, take it out of the salt bath. Rinse it with water.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  6. Cut up an apple and an onion. Here's where it gets nasty...
  7. That's right, you gotta stuff stuff in the bird's rear. I have to go to my happy place as I'm stuffing apples, onions, and rosemary into this thing. Don't laugh at my picture either, I was trying to keep the precious, Mr. iPhone out of turkey. Lets face it, Mr. iPhone is my most serious relationship, and it's probably a good idea to keep him out of a Cornish game hen's body cavity.

So, the green stuff falling out of the hen's derriere is a chopped up apple, onion, and rosemary sprigs. These are called aromatics. As the name would imply, and what I've taken from Glade commercials, this has to do with the smells. When you cook a bird stuffed with aromatics, it makes the bird have notes of the aromatics. It is delectable. If you don't have an apple, onion, or rosemary, use your imagination. I know, it's difficult. I've used oranges, lemons, cinnamon sticks, garlic, etc. Think out of the box.

    8.  Take about a tablespoon of olive oil and rub this sucker down. Under the skin especially.

Lets have a lesson on oil and fat.
A little bit, is okay! Like avocados and almonds, olive oil has healthy fat. Not deep-fat fried onion rings fat. Heart healthy fats. The more oil you add to something and cook at a high temperature, it will crisp. Case in point, fried chicken. But, you won't be seeing that on here. Adding olive oil to the board will moisten the meat and get a nice brown to the skin.

    9.   Salt and pepper the bird. Nestle some garlic cloves around it, like an angel on a cloud.

    10.   Stick that bugger in the oven. For... 25 minutes.

While the bird is cooking,
    11.   Separately microwave 1/8 cup of water until it's bubbling.
    12.   Add a chicken bouillon cube to the hot water.
    13.   Add 1/8 cup of your clear alcohol to the water/bouillon concoction. That's right. If we're going to send the hen out with a bang, might as well involve some alcohol.
    14.   Add a tablespoon of olive oil.

After 25 minutes take the bird out. She should look like this:

    15.   Take your alcohol/oil/water concoction and spread it over the bird.
    16.   Turn the temperature of the oven down to 350 degrees.
    17.   Put the bird back in the oven.
    18.   Set timer for 25 minutes.
    19.   At the 10 minute and 20 minute marks, pull the bird out and baste it with the liquid that's sitting at the bottom of the pan.

To baste means to take the liquid that's leaked to the bottom, and to pour back over the bird. At least, in Lindsey's terms it is.

   20.   After the 25 minutes is up, pull the bird out.

As you can see, she has a nice, delectable, brown color to her. And believe me, it smells delicious.
Alcohol and garlic? I'm thinking that's a yes.

Let the bird sit for about 15-20 minutes so you don't burn your digits off. I've done that one before, because I was a little too eager to try it. Uhh, bad life decision. After the bird's cooled, cut it up (don't be shy, or you'll just have a pretty bird smelling delicious. You do have to indeed butcher it).

And you're done. Whoop whoop!

Pinterest Broccoli

     I don't care if you don't like broccoli. You WILL like it after you have it this way. I believe the roommate said, "I'm never eating broccoli any other way. Ever."

    But, I have to introduce you all to my Pinterest situation. As in, I am obsessed. If you don't know what it is, it's like a virtual bulletin board. I have recipes on mine. Which I actually make. A couple Pinterest experiments have gone bad, but mostly they're good. (The ones I pick, at least). I found this broccoli recipe on Pinterest, and all I gotta say is, damn.

You will need:
  • A shit ton of broccoli. I'm guesstimating 3-4 pounds. Yes, people stare at the grocery store.
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Parmesan cheese
HEY, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

    1.   Decapitate the broccoli. I know, this blog's a tad vicious. My apologies.

So, growing up, my parents brainwashed my brothers and I when it came to broccoli. The dark green part was the "tree" and and pale green was the "trunk." Don't laugh, I actually eat broccoli. High five on that one, moms and pops!

    2.   Chop the garlic cloves and add to broccoli. I used my fancy garlic press to do that:

    3.   Add some olive oil in there. I don't really have a measurement, just add until there is a very slight coating, to the point that you can barely feel it. I toss this stuff with my hands; to make sure it's all evenly coated.

Again with the oil lesson, when you add oil, it will crisp whatever you're cooking. This is important when you're cooking.

    4.   Spread your broccoli/oil/garlic mixture on a baking sheet.

  5.   Stick the broccoli in the oven for 20-25 minutes. 25 minutes has worked better for me.
  6.   At the end of that time, pull out the tray and drizzle lemon juice and Parmesan cheese on top. Not kidding. Parmesan and lemon juice. Oh, and salt and pepper it.
  7.   I stick it back in the oven for a couple minutes to melt the cheese.

Before melting:

Melted and I'm drooling... Wait, whaaaa:

To conclude, clean up your shit and do the dishes. But not until you finish this divine meal.

     Recently, I've been going on rants which seem to end up with me train-rolling my roommate about how livid I am that I love socializing with people, but hate paying for food that I know I could make better. On top of that, that hen cost approximately $3, and the broccoli probably cost as much. This meal is cheap and delicious. And lets face it, I'm a poor college student. I obviously allocate my money to the important things (such as not eating Top Ramen, and paying the electricity bill so I can use the stove). I feel like challenging restaurants to actually trying; trying to make delicious food. The more I educate myself in the culinary arts, the more I become outraged for how much restaurants get away with charging. And for what? Sure, the experience, but sub-par food? That's inexcusable.

    I'm about to quit revisiting locations unless the food makes me close my eyes, escape to my food-gasm land, and makes me want to have another bite. It's rare, but damn, I love that.

   Until next time!
       Cuisiner eLLe (aka Lindsey)

P.S.  If you have questions or comments, please let me know!


Anonymous said...

You said the bad word...

Anonymous said...

Wow, now you're just showing off...