Recipe Telephone: Let the Game Begin!

Bloggers are signed up—and we’re ready to play Recipe Telephone! (Wanna play?) Our game is similar to playing “telephone” when you were a kid—you’d start with one message, it would pass from person to person and come out hilariously different at the end. We’re doing the same thing with a recipe, starting with Roast Chicken from Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart. Each player will take the recipe they’re given, change it (there’s rules), and pass it on.

Our first player is Sheri Castle—look for her recipe on her blog on Wednesday, November 21, and look for a new recipe by different blogger every Wednesday. Here’s the recipe she’s starting with—and below, a list of our players and dates when you can follow the next recipe in the game.

Co-author Cynthia Graubart will use the recipes in her “Keep the Creative Juices Flowing: Writing Memorable Recipes” session at FoodBlogSouth 2013. And the recipes will be printed in a chapbook that will be sold to raise funds for the Desert Island Supply Company.

Players, start your ovens… and have fun!

Roast Chicken

Serves 4

The easiest way to roast chicken is to rub the skin with butter or oil, throw it into a hot or cold oven, roast it at 425 or so until the meat hits 165 degrees, and pull it out and eat it. I do this when life is frantic. But a perfectly roasted chicken is another question altogether. A perfect roasted chicken has a crisp skin, a moist, tender breast, drumsticks and thighs that are so flavorful they make one want to jump up and down in praise, and a backbone with its “oysters” there for the discerning (I’ve always called it “the cook’s treat”). I’m fondest of small chickens, but this method works for up to a 5-pound chicken, as well as for Cornish hens, adjusting the roasting times accordingly and cooking until the thickest part of the leg registers 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.

1 (2 1⁄ 2–3 1⁄ 2 pound) whole chicken
2 tablespoons oil or melted butter, cook’s preference
3 or 4 sprigs rosemary, thyme or marjoram
1 lemon, pricked all over with a fork
4 carrots, peeled, optional
2 cups chicken stock or broth, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

If a crispy skin is imperative, leave chicken uncovered in the refrigerator overnight to dry the skin. If possible, remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. If the chicken is cold when placed in the oven, it will take longer to cook.

Carefully insert a few fingers under the skin of the chicken wherever it seems willing to part with the flesh, to burst the membrane attaching the skin to the flesh. The skin will collapse against the flesh and will become crisper when cooked. Take special care to keep the skin intact when at the breast and going in from the backbone to the thigh and leg. (In Ethiopia and some other countries, this is done by blowing air in with a reed or straw.)

Gently brush the outside of the chicken with the oil or melted butter. Insert rosemary, thyme or marjoram and the lemon in the cavity. Move the carrots to a roasting pan just larger than the chicken and place in a crosswise fashion to create a rack that will keep the chicken slightly elevated to aid in browning the skin on the sides. Move the chicken on top of the carrots. Add a bit of stock to the pan to keep the juices from burning.

Roast breast side up until the skin begins to brown (35 to 40 minutes). Turn the chicken breast side down with tongs or two large spoons, and continue baking 15 to 20 minutes to brown the bottom skin. Turn the chicken again breast side up and continue to cook until the thickest part of the leg measures 165 degrees on a meat thermometer. Remove from oven and turn upside down to let the juices run to the breast and rest 10 minutes before carving (facing). The temperature of the meat will continue to rise as it rests.

Discard the carrots. Add the stock to the juices in the pan and bring to the boil, stirring to get all the goodness off the bottom and sides of the pan. Let boil down until loosely thickened. Skim off
any undesired fat and pour into a gravy boat and, serve with the chicken.

Used with permission from Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking (Gibbs-Smith, 2012) by
Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart.

The Players:

Sheri Castle – - November 21
Anne-Marie Nichols – – November 28
Niki – – December 5
Nancie McDermott – – December 12
Michal Thornton – – December 19
Erin Brighton – – December 26
Angie – – January 2, 2013
Tammie Blount – – January 9
Jackie Garvin – – January 16
Aimee Porter – – January 23
Linda Vice – – January 30
Susan Benton – – February 6
Mindy Merrell – – February 13
Nikki Norman – – February 20
Debra Elliott – – February 27

2 comments to Recipe Telephone: Let the Game Begin!

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