Showing posts with label lazy cooking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lazy cooking. Show all posts

Monday, January 10, 2011

So Many Stores, So Little Time!


How many grocery stores do you shop in on a regular basis? I was wondering why my shopping day takes so long and it dawned on me that I always go to three or four stores. Now that does include a stop at PetSmart for cat food. But it doesn't include my favorite store for meat because it's in a different direction.


Why do I go to so many stores? The health food store carries a lot of organic items that I like and can't buy elsewhere. Then there's the big chain store with the huge selection of fruits and veggies. In the summer, I have to stop by the farmer's market. And then there's WalMart which happens to carry the brand of milk I like, and while they don't offer a big assortment of organic products, they have one I like a lot for significantly less than the other stores charge. By the time I'm done, most the day is, too!

Some of you are probably thinking I'm silly because there's not much difference between stores. A chicken is a chicken is a chicken. Not exactly. In fact, one of my pet peeves lately is all the added solutions in
meat. They contain salt and preservatives, sometimes even fat. I just want plain meat, please. The store I prefer for meat carries Gerber's Amish Chicken. They tell me that some of their customers drive more than an hour just to buy it. I'm not surprised.

Which leads me to my go-to recipe for busy days. One that we like so much that it's often the go-to recipe for lazy days or cold days, or in the summer, hot days when it's made on the grill -- roast chicken. You'll find a million ways to roast a chicken. I have my way and it's so simple that it's almost not worth a recipe. You can gussy it up with herbs or paprika or garlic if you like, but honestly, we prefer it plain.

One of the best things about it is that it takes one hour to roast,
which means I can do something else for an hour. If I'm in the mood for potatoes, I stick them in the oven wrapped in foil and ignore them for an hour, too. This isn't fancy cooking by any stretch of the imagination, but it's always a favorite at my house -- and is good enough to serve to company, too.

I do use one slightly unusual item -- a vertical
chicken roaster.

This is the original Spanek Vertical Chicken Roaster. You plop the chicken on top of it, fold back the wings and set the whole thing in a pan to catch the drippings. Vertical roasters are not very expen
sive and they make a great chicken.

So here's the very fancy schmancy recipe.

Roast Chicken

1 small to medium chicken (3-4 pounds)
salt
pepper (optional)

Adjust oven rack to lowest level. Preheat oven to 425.

Rinse chicken. Plop onto vertical chicken roaster. Rub chicken with salt and pepper. Place in oven. Set timer for one hour.

Write mystery for one hour.

Eat.

Whew, that was hard work! I know it sounds so simple that it's hardly worth mentioning, but we all love easy and good, right? The skin is always crispy, the meat is always tender. The legs should move easily when it's taken out of the oven. If you pull
one aside and see red inside, slide it back into the oven for a few minutes. This happens sometimes if the chicken wasn't totally thawed or if it's on the large side. One hour is usually perfect timing.



Good news! The leftovers are wonderful for sandwiches or salad the next day. And when you think that poor old chicken has nothing left to give, pop all those bones (yes, the whole thing) into a stock pot and make soup with it!

~ Krista

Have you entered Julie's
CONTEST?
Time is running out!

This one is for all you fast readers out there who devour books
as fast as you get your hands on them!

I want to send one lucky winner a $10 bookstore gift certificate.

How to win it?

Simply email me JulieHyzy (at) gmail (dot) com -- put CHARACTER or CONTEST in the subject. In the body of your email, answer a question (or two):

1) Who is your favorite *new* character in Buffalo West Wing?

2) Why is he/she your favorite of the newbies?

(I really love to know how readers relate to new characters, so this is enormously helpful for me!)

Answer one question, you're entered once. Answer both, you're entered twice.

It's that easy.

There's no right or wrong answer. The winner will be chosen at random. No matter which of the newbies you love (or love to hate), just providing an answer gets you in the running. (BTW, there's one character we haven't seen since book #2. If he's your favorite, that's fine too.)

ENTER BY MIDNIGHT JANUARY 13, 2011
I will announce the winner sometime on Friday, January 14, 2011

I'll announce a winner a week from today. So many of you have emailed to let me know they've already read it, so I thought this would be a perfect way to pick your brains before I start book #6 (#5, as yet unnamed, is done).

Thanks in advance, and happy reading!