Last year Jason started his own company (insert shameless plug here) and moved his daily grind out of the city. With all that he has gained from starting his own company, he not only had to give up working with his wonderful wife, then fiancée, but he also had to give up the luxury of walking out the front door and having a surfeit of breakfast/lunch choices, not to mention 5 Starbucks shops within a 2 block radius. Luckily, Jason abhors Starbucks coffee so that wasn’t too big of a sacrifice. However, not being able to grab lunch at our much beloved “chicken man” or make-your-own salad joint has taken a toll on Jason’s daytime satiety.
We have taken measures to alleviate his pain by doing the following:
1. COFFEE: Brew coffee every night, refrigerate the pot overnight, fill portable coffee mug, and consume in the car/at work in the morning. ISSUE: We have been known to forget to brew the coffee altogether. Luckily there is a Dunkin Donuts he can stop by on the way to work though the consistency, or lack thereof there has led Jason to write up a complaint. The necessity for morning caffeine however has superceded the frequently poor quality.
2. BREAKFAST: I wake up in the morning at 7 AM while Jason is in the shower and scramble or fry up two eggs with salt and pepper, finished with a squirt of ketchup or hot sauce. ISSUE: As mentioned in previous posts, I am not a morning person and many weeks, I only do this 2 or 3 times. I am a bad wife. I have attempted at times to get out of getting up in the morning to make breafast by making a batch of muffins on Sunday to be consumed for breakfast all week. This too is not consistent. Again, I concede, I am a bad wife.
3. LUNCH: Herein lies the the meat of this post, literally. There are three possible lunch situations situations.
- Jason takes leftovers from the night before
- I pan fry him 6 or 7 frozen dumplings in the morning while I make the eggs (this has happened twice)
- Something is made on Sunday night intended to be eaten for lunch throughout the week
- A regrettable occurrence which only happens in the most extreme of circumstances, he starves
For a while the pre-preparing of food on Sunday for the week was the norm but lately, it seems the leftover route has taken over. Was I getting lazy? I’m not sure if it was that or just a lack of creativity. Well last Sunday, I decided to bring homemade lunches back and bought an organic whole chicken from my local Super Stop n Shop. My plan was to roast the whole chicken and use the meat for various lunches throughout the week.
I have roasted chicken before so it wasn’t as intimidating as it might be for a newbie. Making roasted chicken requires more of a knowledge of method than recipe since you can make it pretty much with whatever you have on hand. Plus it’s super easy so really, don’t fret and forge ahead because roasting your own chicken at home is supremely satisfying.
In this case, I focused the flavorings around citrus salt which I have been meaning to make with inspiration from a post on finishing salts on SK.
Lemon-Ginger Roasted Chicken
1 3.5 pound chicken, preferably organic
2 stalks of lemongrass, cut into three inch pieces
2 lemons, zested for the finishing salt and cut in half
2-4 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly sliced
handful of cilantro, leaves and stems
citrus flavored salt (grated zest from 2 lemons and 1 lime, dried on a paper towel for about 20 minutes, mixed with sea salt)
freshly cracked black pepper
As you can tell from the ingredients list and picture, the amounts are really just guesstimates because it is not a big deal if you have more or less of any one thing. If I had oranges around, I’d probably add one or two of those as well. I used the combination of lemon and ginger b/c I think it’s a classic one and works well. I would have used flat leaf parsley if I had any but I didn’t so I used cilantro instead.
After prepping all the ingredients and preheating the oven to 425F, I washed the chicken and patted it dry with paper towels. Then stuffed the bird with all of the ingredients except for the salt and pepper. These two should be rubbed somewhat liberally (please see conclusion on the bottom) on the outside of the bird along with the olive oil. Instead of trussing the chicken, I simply tied the legs together with butcher’s twine so quite frankly, nothing would fall out of its butt during the roasting. That would have been quite unlady-like.
I placed the bird in the oven and roasted it for about 40 minutes. I say about because due to an errand I had to run at the last minute, I asked Jason to shut the oven off when the oven timer went off. Apparently with the oven fan buzzing coupled with the necessity for high TV volume when college football is on, our oven timer is rendered inaudible. Fortunately, the resultant roast didn’t burn but it was definitely a bit more toasted than I had intended.
After cooking the bird, or any meat for that matter, it’s best to let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing into. Patience is a small price to pay for juicy and delicious meat.
Being a blogging amateur, I completely forgot to take a picture of the whole bird and carved it up before I could remember. Oh well…perhaps next time! Here are some picture of the pieces in the meantime!
The meat was very flavorful but a tad salty for my taste. I think I may have been a bit excited and too liberal with my use of the citrus salt. Next time I’ll hold back a bit more :)
The chicken pieces were taken and enjoyed for lunch throughout the week.
My mother asked me why why I was “going through the trouble” of roasting my own chicken versus just buying the ubiquitous rotisserie chickens cheaply offered up by our local Stop n Shop, Costco, or Boston Market. I’m not sure if in this day and age, I need to extol the virtues of buying organic but I needn’t say anything other than PLEASE READ this book. It will at the least make you think twice about almost every single thing you buy at the supermarket. By roasting the chicken myself, I have the piece of mind of not only being able to control the inputs in the roast (ie; lower sodium levels…maybe not in this case but usually!), but I can also choose to buy organic which is becoming more and more important in my life and hopefully will in yours as well.