by Guest Blogger Michele Grover
February. Valentines. Roses. Chocolate. Jewelry. The month of love.
What an interesting thought. “The month of love.” I prefer to think every month is the month of love. And why stop there? How about every day? Every hour? Every minute? As that old song says, “what the world needs now is love, sweet love.”
Perhaps the tricky part of love is being aware of it when it happens to you. We all profess our love in myriad ways. It would be a shame to be found waiting for love in a box of candy when it has shown up as a bouquet of daisies. Or perhaps a roasted chicken…
My favorite way to show love is with gifts from the kitchen. People I love have been known to receive things like quarts of soup, dozens of cookies, fresh tamales, and birthday pies. The kitchen is a magical place. Invite some people over, clean the whole house, set the table, and just watch how the entire party inevitably crams into the kitchen. It makes me smile every single time it happens. The kitchen is a warm, comforting, delicious, happy place.
People who love me know that I am not much of a clothes person or a jewelry person, but gift me with a cooking tool and I can hardly contain my enthusiasm. My husband recently gave me a new knife. Ahhhh. There is absolutely nothing like a fantastic kitchen knife! Dr. Cook gave me a cast iron skillet, complete with a “love handle” that is designed to stay cool to the touch during stovetop use. It is amazing. Completely seasoned. Naturally nonstick. (I tested it by cooking an egg in it. Did not stick at all. Awesome!) If you are ever looking for some new kitchen jewelry, be sure to check this out:
One of my favorite cast iron skillet recipes is roasted chicken. It is exquisitely simple, economical, and delicious. Your home will smell like you’ve been cooking all day and nobody needs to know you weren’t! Here’s the recipe – from my kitchen to yours, with love!
[Don’t worry if you don’t have a cast iron skillet. Any 10-12 inch ovenproof skillet will work just fine. If you prefer to roast a larger bird, increase the time when the oven is on (step 2) to 35-40 minutes.]
Roasted Chicken (recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)
1 tablespoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon pepper
4 whole garlic cloves, unpeeled, cut in half
1 whole lemon or ½ orange, sliced
½ onion, unpeeled, cut in quarters
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (3 ½ to 4 pound) whole chicken
Adjust oven rack to middle position, place 10-12 inch ovensafe skillet on rack, and heat oven to 450 degrees. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Salt and pepper inner cavity, then fill with garlic, citrus slices, and onion. Tie legs together. Rub outside of chicken with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.
Transfer chicken, breast side up, to preheated oven. Roast chicken until breast registers 120 degrees (25 – 35 minutes). Turn oven off and leave chicken in oven until breast registers 160 degrees (25 – 35 minutes).
Transfer chicken to carving board and let rest, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Carve and serve.