Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday's Fave Five

This weekly meme is hosted by Susanne at Living To Tell the Story.

Can't believe it is Friday already. I'm looking forward to next week, spending time with the family and eating, eating, eating. Oh, and football games, shopping trips, eating, and my sister-in-law's wedding!

In no particular order, these are five favorite things from the past week.

1. Getting to spend a whole evening with my dearest friend in all the world. Every time I see her, I am reminded of how much her friendship has meant to me for the past 25 years.

2. Snagging a free upgrade to fly First Class home from Newark to Salt Lake City. Once again, it ain't about the meal -- it's the acreage.

3. Coming home from a trip to the comfort of my husband's arms. He really is the best!

4. A new chicken recipe that yields gravy To Die For! Oh, and the bird was mighty tasty, too.

5. A phone call from my stepdaughter on a really blue day.

AND, bonus....

6. Being able to cook away my blues. I like to cook, and I've discovered that, on the bad days, it helps me to prepare a good meal. That's how we ended up with an amazing Lemon Chicken dinner last night, and I ended a blue day in a pretty good mood. I'm thankful for a good kitchen and a nearby grocery store.

I've been away for five weekends straight -- the longest ever, I think. I cannot wait to have a normal, family-style weekend, starting tonight!! Have a great weekend everyone!

- Catherine

Addendum for those who are intrigued by the Lemon Chicken recipe (which I got from my friend, Sara, and which uses the cooking method of my cousin, Karen, -- so it's a little bit of a hybrid, and I thank both of you!).

1 whole chicken (the recipe calls for an Oven Stuffer Roaster type, but those are hard to come by in our town, so I used two plump fryers)
1-2 whole lemons (1 small-ish lemon for a plump fryer, probably two small-ish or one medium lemon for an Oven Stuffer Roaster)
Olive oil to brush on and in the chicken.

for the Rub:
1 T kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 T garlic powder

for the giblet broth:
chicken neck, liver, yukky stuff, etc.
1 onion, chopped coarsely
about 10 sprigs of fresh parsley (or dried equivalent)
2 garlic cloves minced
sage and/or poultry seasoning (or what-have-you - bay leaf, maybe?) to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 250 degrees (TWO fifty -- it's a slow oven).

Remove the giblets from the chickens and reserve to make a broth that you will add to your pan drippings for gravy. (If you hate working with the giblets, then you could use canned chicken broth for that part of the gravy-making and skip the whole giblet thing.)

Brush the chicken(s) with olive oil.

Wash the lemons (do not peel), and prick each one all over with a fork (probably 8-10 times).

Combine the ingredients for the rub.
Rub inside the oiled chicken and under the skin of the breast.

Insert the whole lemon(s) into the cavity of the chicken and tie the legs closed, tucking the wings underneath as well.

Roast UNcovered until done, 5-6 hours at 250 degrees (yep, that is a SLOW oven).

In the meantime, combine giblets and the other broth ingredients with enough water to cover.
Simmer the giblets for at least 3 hours or more.

When the chicken is done:
Remove the chicken(s) to a cutting board and tent with foil to rest while you make the gravy. Remove the lemons and discard.

Pour pan drippings into a gravy separator
Reserve enough fat to make a roux with flour (ratio is 1:1). I used 2 T of each.
Cook the roux for a minute, then add all of the de-fatted pan drippings.
As it thickens, you can add giblet broth as needed to get to the right consistency. (I didn't use all my giblet broth last night -- will use it when I make more gravy tonight from the chicken broth I made today and the fat that I reserved.)

The lemon oozes/sprays juice all over the inside of the chicken while it's cooking. The meat is very juicy and the dark meat in particular has a just a slight hint of lemon to it. What's so wonderful about the gravy is that it has this very, very subtle lemon flavor to it -- very fresh -- but it's also very chicken-y. My husband and our guest couldn't get enough of it.


bensrib said...

And no doubt the recipe for chicken with gravy to die for is coming, right?

Catherine said...

Will email it ASAP!

elizabeth said...

Oh yes, we must see that recipe! My mouth is already watering for it. :)

It does sound like you had some beautiful highlights this week. Love to hear how you enjoyed visiting your friend, then loved coming home to your husband. Sounds just like me - nothing better than those two things.

Catherine said...

I'll post the recipe as an addendum to today's blog entry.

Joyce said...

Yes definitely the acreage : )

The recipe sounds yummy...I've been reading recipes and getting my groceries for next week and I feel like I'm already putting on the pounds.

Enjoy your weekend at home!

Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

LOL, "yucky stuff". This actually sounds easy enough for even ME to not mess it up.

You've earned a delightful weekend and i hope you have one!

Brenda said...

Being upgraded to first class would certainly make my week! Thats a great way to travel.

I like to cook when I am depressed as well, or frustrated. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.

nikkipolani said...

So glad your blue days have finished well this week. These are really lovely fives!

Susanne said...

It sounds like you had some really nice points in your week, Catherine. I'm so glad they were there to lift your spirits.

An evening with a good friend is one of the greatest blessings in life. As is a husbands comfort in a time of need!

I need to try that recipe!

Willow said...

Great FFFs this week. A dear friend, leg room on a plane, a loving husband. Enjoy your weekend at HOME!