Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Agony Of Defeat & A Brined Bird

How can I face the world of bloggers after the devastation of losing the competitions…….. so humiliating after being all cocky parading around last week telling anyone who would listen that I was a shoe in. It gets worse; I even wrote an acceptance speech…… Drama, theatrics & over reacting …… the shrink says it is classic middle child syndrome.

Quickly found solace by finding another cocktail recipe to use up all the leftover blood oranges over at The Hungry Mouse; the pictures are to die for! Like drowning my sorrows in alcohol would help..... Luckily precious Chelsea at aqua poppy designs emailed my new blog design was ready! Yippee! So excited!!! Have been collaborating with Chelsea; my new best friend & she did this amazing custom design! Check her out! She has stock designs or she will do a custom design that suits your personality; she definitely captured mine! Did you notice how my “hair do” resembles the pat of butter? Cute, huh?

The new design definitely took my mind off my grief from losing the competitions. Not to be a sore loser I have added the link for the winners over at alchemist chef & A Southern Grace; as you can see I was up against some pretty stiff competition; kudos to the winners!

Sought further therapeutic measures from the defeat & looking for a cure for my ginormous hangover turned to one of my favorite comfort dishes; Roasted Chicken with Potatoes & Onions. An exhilarating moment of the preparation is massaging the chicken. My hero Julia Child said “Many aspects of my method are based on my feeling and experience. For instance, I always give my bird a generous butter massage before I put it in the oven. Why? Because I think the chicken likes it—and, more important, I like to give it.” Love her! No doubt she is up in heaven fixing up a scrumptious Béarnaise as I type.

Brining the chicken is key to a moist, succulent bird. Have fun with the brining! I used lemons, salt & sugar to make her quite the diva! I thought about adding a shot or 2 of tequila but I am trying to lay off the sauce. Sweets; my precious Mother always ahead of her time, for years has soaked her chicken overnight in salted water. Let me say she was clueless this process was called brining but she always says “Sweetie Lamb, don’t forget to soak your bird.” A little salt goes along away; for brining tips see What's Cooking America or . Roasting the chicken over the potatoes & onions will have you shouting; “Taste like another.” A lemon placed in the chicken cavity is sheer genius.

Recipe Roasted Chicken with Potatoes & Onions

½ cup kosher or sea salt
¼ cup sugar
¼ lemon juice; add some zest for extra punch!
2 cups warm water
1 ½ quarts cold water
1 Chicken Free Range rocks (about 3/4 pounds), giblets discarded

Other Ingredients
4 large sliced potatoes; I used Yukon gold & left the skin on; if you use red potatoes; quarter
1 Large sweet onion sliced
3 to 4 cloves of peeled garlic (this is up for your discretion- I used 6…..)
4/5 basil leaves
1 lemon
Butter 3 tbsp.
Salt & pepper to your taste

Brine Chicken: Combine salt, sugar & 2 cups of warm water; allow to dissolve, add lemon juice. Place chicken in large container that will fit in your fridge with submerged chicken. Cover with salt, sugar & lemon water & add 1 1/2 quarts cold tap water; cover chicken completely; add more water if necessary. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry with paper towels; this is important as it makes for crispier skin. Lift the chicken skin (carefully - do not tear skin) under the breast, legs & neck end; give it a good massage with butter, salt & pepper, inside & out; scatter the basil leaves under the skin. Place pierced lemon inside the bird; if lemon is too large cut in half. I added a couple of basil leaves in the cavity. Tie legs together with twine.

Layer onions, potatoes & garlic in oiled roasting pan; salt & pepper as you go. Place chicken on V rack or on top of roasting pan grill breast side up, twist wings under bird to lift up & place over potatoes, onions & garlic.
Roast about 1 ½ hours until chicken is medium golden brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast and thigh registers about 160 and 175 degrees, respectively (start checking at an hour as this depends on size of chicken & your oven.)

Allow chicken to rest for about 15 minutes. Carve chicken; squeeze lemon over chicken & and serve with potatoes, onions and garlic.

The chick definitely massaged my soul!


  1. you mustn't be hurt, butterball--it was a random drawing for the winner. :)
    meanwhile, your chick looks scrumptious!

  2. Roast chicken and potatoes sounds fantastic. I've never brined a bird, but I should really get around to trying it!

  3. Grace, Too funny! I was clueless it was a random drawing..... What the heck I had fun writing the Agony Of Defeat Blog!!!

  4. Every roast chicken should have butter in it/on it. You got it!

  5. This looks wonderful. You so cant beat roasted chicken!! Butter, yes, the more, the better.

  6. The Julia Child chicken episode is a classic. ANd nothing beats vegetables roasted under chicken.