I’ve been wanting to roast a chicken Laurie Colwin-style — sprinkled with paprika and salt and pepper, stuffed with some garlic and half a lemon, then roasted at 250 or 300 degrees for two or more hours, basting, until “the skin is the color of teak” — since reading Home Cooking and More Home Cooking a couple of weeks ago. It almost killed us to wait that long, but we finally tested it out for dinner along with some potatoes roasted under the chicken (as well as the chicken neck, which she refers to as the cook’s present for doing all that basting) and some sauteed asparagus on the side. It wasn’t until after an hour in the oven that there was enough of anything going on to actually baste the chicken with like she says to! By the end, though, the cast iron pan was almost halfway full of pan juices.
I’m a big believer in the Zuni Cafe method of roasting a chicken: salt the bird and refrigerate it for days to crisp up the skin, then cook at blazing high heat for just an hour. This was a different thing entirely: the skin wasn’t as crispy, but the meat was so juicy and tender that a carving knife wasn’t needed to serve the legs and wings — they just fell off. I eventually gave up on silverware and ate it with my hands, and we dipped everything from bread to asparagus to, finally, a soup spoon into the juices. If time were never a consideration, Laurie Colwin’s method almost has me convinced.
(Dessert was the rest of the jalapeno tequila we had with dinner in honor of Cinco de Mayo and the cake from the other day toasted with a square of chocolate on top, our new favorite way of eating cake.)