Monday, July 31, 2006

Happy Mondays: Beauty Night & Blasted Chicken

Monday nights are my night alone. And I know that sounds like the prelude to a complaint, but on the contrary, Mondays are all about me.

The husband is in the city taking a class, which means I can get all hyper-girlie and luxuriate in a bubble bath with a mud mask on my face, sipping Lillet Blanc and listening to '70s soft rock. You can be sure Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt and Carole King are always invited to Beauty Night. So, after my self-spa pampering rituals are complete and I've belted out "A Case of You" and "Blue Bayou" as many times as I care to, I like to read or watch trashy TV while eating whatever it was I craved all day. Thing is, slaving in the kitchen isn't really a part of the princess regimen, so if cassoulet's what I'm craving, I act a spoiled brat and refuse to make myself dinner. On the nights my palatte demands something too labor-intensive, I can always happily settle on the old standard, Blasted Chicken. It's a recipe that plenty of people know and rely on, but for anyone who hasn't tried it, you'll be glad to have this savory standby in your repertoire. It's easy, tasty and (thank you, Colonel) finger-lickin good.

Easiest Ever Blasted Chicken

1 4.5 lb chicken
olive oil
coarse sea salt, ideally Sel du Mer
coarsely ground pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 450. Wash and pat dry the bird. Truss the little drumsticks up with cooking twine and set the bird on a roasting rack over a cookie sheet. Pour olive oil all over the carcass and then generously cover with salt and pepper. The effect you're going for is more of a salt coating than a sprinkling. Pop that sucker in for 45 minutes and, as Emeril says, BAM yuh done! All you need to remember is 4.5 pounds at 450 for 45 minutes. Of course the chicken should rest for 10-15 minutes once you're pulled it from the oven. If the bird's a bit bigger or juices don't run clear after 45 minutes, you can leave it in another 5-10 minutes.

Chef's note: Blasted Chicken is best enjoyed in PJs, watching mindless TV while snuzzled under a comforter.


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