The Best, Easiest Whole Roasted Chicken

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I am now a couple weeks into my last semester ever! I reached a point over break when I began to feel quite useless, filling my days with books and food. While that may sound like a wonderful pastime (and it is) it was perhaps a little too pleasant, because I began to feel a bit antsy. Apparently, I need a little more structure in my life.

The past couple weeks have been rather uneventful, at least compared to the crazy and exciting couple of weeks surrounding Christmas. I spent a week waiting for my ring to get resized, which made me realize that I am not, after all, as patient as I thought I was. I also found the secret to unifying our cats: a string! They go crazy for it and pretty much ignore each other until the string goes away, and then it’s back to good ol’ hatred. I also spent a lot of time trying new recipes, many of which were excellent. If you’re looking for a new cookbook, the Sqirl one is really great. One older recipe that I revisited was the chickpea confit and hummus, which I highly recommend to anyone with a bit of extra time.

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We did venture out of our hobbit hole a couple of times to have dinner with friends, once with Allie and Lauren (med school friends) and once with Mallory, Oscar, Rylan, and Noelle. Both dinners were immensely enjoyable and reminded me that socializing is actually really fun. Jonji and I also recently went to see ASSSSCAT (a UCB improv show) with a bunch of friends, which we haven’t been to in a while. The show was absolutely hilarious, making us once again marvel over the cast’s quick wits and fearless performances.

This past Saturday Jonji, Mallory, and I drove downtown to meet Liz, Steph, Kelsie, and several others for the Women’s March. One of my class assignments was to create protest posters for any cause, so I used the opportunity to get my homework done AND have an excuse to carry a sign around at the Women’s March all day. To quote someone else’s poster, “I’m not usually a sign [person], but jeez.” The streets swelled with adults and children, the crowd growing to such a great size that we were stuck in one place, unmoving, for an hour. Fortunately, the heavy rain had let up for one day, and the sun warmed us as we stood in place. Kids perched on parent’s shoulders, holding up the best handmade signs, and pink pussy-hats stretched away into the distance. Finally, we got to march, moving like a giant school of fish through the packed streets. After the inauguration of the day before, we felt heartened to be among so many like-minded people, all willing to show support for one another. Since the march was so large we didn’t get to hear any speakers, but it was enough to simply be there.

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The rain returned in full on Sunday, rendering the Farmer’s Market nearly empty. Jonji and I strayed outside only once just to grocery shop, and were soaked by the time we got home. During these rare storms, I find myself worrying that the land can’t take any more rain. But then I recall that pretty much everywhere else gets way more rain than we ever will, and those places are still standing. So I stop worrying, and go back to drinking lots of coffee—it tastes so much better when rain’s battering the windows.

This recipe is perfect for cold, rainy nights (or any night, for that matter). Bailey keeps insisting that I post it, calling the chicken and its broth “heaven,” and “all I want to eat!” It goes beautifully with mashed potatoes and braised carrots, parsnips, and spinach. I like to make it on Sundays. Leftovers are perfect for chicken soup, thai soup, or chicken salad.

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The Best, Easiest Whole Roasted Chicken
serves 4–6 • adapted from Broth & Stock by Jennifer McGruther

1 whole chicken
1/2 an onion
1/2 a lemon
olive oil
plenty of pepper
1 tbsp coarse salt
1/2 cup white wine

Preheat the oven to 275°F.

Sprinkle a little olive oil in a large, heavy pot or dutch oven. Lay the chicken inside, breast up. Slice the lemon half and onion in half once more, then stuff these inside the chicken’s cavity. Tie the legs together (start by looping the string around the neck, strings against the back, and coming up around the backs of the thighs and tying the ankles tightly).

Sprinkle a generous amount of olive oil onto the chicken and rub to coat well. Grind a bunch of pepper on the chicken, then sprinkle all of the salt on top. Pour the white wine into the bottom of the pot. Cover with a lid, or foil if need be, and roast in the oven for 3 hours. Remove the lid, turn the oven up to 375°F, and roast for another 40 minutes, until the skin is crispy and browned. Especially good over mashed potatoes alongside roasted root vegetables. Enjoy!

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