August 29, 2011

Hurricane Chicken

You might have heard about this Hurricane Irene chick who came barreling through NYC. While she wreaked havoc, destruction, and sadly, even death in other states, she lost a lot of steam by the time she got to the Empire State. This meant we had a lot of provisions that, well, we didn't really need so badly any more. I decided to take some of the leftovers from my storm supplies and make what I dubbed "Hurricane Chicken."

I had half a bunch of leftover cilantro, some garlic that was starting to sprout, and some fading celery and onions.

I washed and trimmed all the veggies, taking out the bitter green shoot from the otherwise-fine garlic, and arranging everything in a roasting dish.
It doesn't look like much, maybe, but it's worth using, and I always feel better when I don't waste food.

I tossed the garlic, leftover cilantro, and unsalted butter into my mini food processor and made a delicious-smelling compound butter.

I took about 1/3 of it and shmeared it under the chicken skin (I have yet to do this without poking at least one hole in the chicken skin--don't worry--it still comes out just fine). I put the rest of the butter in the fridge for later.

I sprinkled a generous tablespoon of salt over the bird, stuffed a quartered lime in the bird's cavity, poured a cup of leftover white wine in the pan do you see anything wrong with this picture? I'll explain later..

I cooked the bird at 450 for just over an hour, and tossed some seasoned zucchini in for the last 20 minutes. I didn't baste the bird at all, just let the butter layer do its work.

The chicken was dreamily, succulent! The lime and cilantro gave it a nice Caribbean kick, and the butter made the skin nice and crispy. The pan juices? ZOMG.

It wasn't until the next day that I realized I put the chicken in the pan UPSIDE DOWN. Listen--severe weather can be stressful! Regardless, the bird was super juicy and scrumptious, and I nibbled on plenty of chicken as I plated the rest and put it up in the fridge. Oh, lunch this week is going to be great! Chicken sandwiches, chicken soup, chicken salad, chicken quesadillas....
"Hurricane" Chicken

1/2 bunch cilantro (or any leftover fresh herbs)
1 stick butter, softened
3-4 cloves garlic
1 lime, washed, scrubbed & quartered
1 3-4 lb roasting chicken
leftover veggies
1 cup white wine
salt & pepper

Trim veggies and arrange in roasting dish. Mix butter, garlic and herbs in mini food processor. Take 2-3 TBS of the butter and rub it over chicken, underneath skin.
Reserve the rest of the butter (don't touch with the hands that just touched raw chicken!) for later--it's great on warm rolls. Put lime quarters in chicken cavity, sprinkle bird with generous 2 Tbs of salt, fresh cracked pepper, and pop it in the oven for 50-60 minutes, until done (165 on meat therm, or when juices run clear).

Enjoy--and may all your storms bring more hype than harm!

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