Thursday, June 01, 2006

the tiny banquet committee 65-minute makeover

Before, and after:



It's not as brown as we would have liked, but it was a small chicken (just under 3 lbs.) and couldn't stay in the oven much longer. Tasted great, though. The Committee has been eating a lot more chicken lately because we've discovered how lucky we are to be able to purchase it from Dines Farms at our local farmers' market every Sunday. For years we hardly ate any chicken because supermarket chickens, even the kosher ones, seemed not worth bothering with; they have the appearance and texture of chicken but don't taste like much, and the industry that produces them isn't something we'd like to support. Dines Farms chickens, however, taste the way we think really good chicken ought to taste, and they're antibiotic- and hormone-free and pasture-raised.

We have roasted chicken according to the recipe in Jerry Traunfeld's The Herbfarm Cookbook several times now but we have always substituted sprigs of thyme for the fresh bay leaves. This time we happened to have a supply of fresh bay leaves so under the skin they went. There are also a couple in the cavity of the chicken, along with several wedges of lemon. The bay leaves gave the meat a lovely, subtle herbal taste. If you come across fresh bay leaves they are worth buying even if you haven't got a particular recipe in mind; they keep very well in the refrigerator.