I’ve been happily cooking for my husband just over two years now. And my adventures in the kitchen began even before then, thanks to a mother who
forced me encouraged me to learn how to cook. So I guess you could say that I entered womanhood well-prepared to feed a hungry man… and maybe even picky children, should we take that step in the upcoming years.
But there comes a time when a woman must face her worst fears in the kitchen. When she must stop being satisfied with the status quo and take a leap of faith. When she has to just trust her training and accept the possibility of failure in the hope of being successful.
And for me, this revolved around baking a whole chicken.
Whole chickens scare me. They hold an endless possibility of flops. They can be too dry. Undercooked. Tasteless. Tough. Too salty. Not salty enough. I was pretty sure that were I to attempt such a feat, it would be me against the chicken… And the chicken would win.
And so, over the weekend, I decided to conquer my fears, and a whole chicken found its way into my kitchen for the first time. I rinsed him off with cold water, patted him dry, and then proceeded to call him Franky. My husband seemed a little bit apprehensive when I admitted to having named our dinner-meat. I couldn’t help it. All this time, I had thought the chicken was my enemy, when he was actually kind of cute… for something so plucked, anyway.
To avoid a dry chicken, I decided to go the crockpot route and turned to an Emeril recipe I had found on the Foodnetwork. Just rub the chicken down with salt and pepper. Place the whole chicken in a 4 1/2 – 5 quart crockpot and top with 1/2 cup of chopped onions, 1/4 cup chopped carrots, the juice of one squeezed lemon, some fresh thyme, and three crushed garlic. (I didn’t have fresh thyme, so I rubbed him down with dried thyme, in addition to the salt and pepper). Cook on high for 6 hours, undisturbed.
(I love that ‘undisturbed’ part, becaused it means that the crockpot is doing all the work). 😉 Yep, that’s it. You don’t even have to add any water to the pot, and it still comes out amazingly tender and juicy!
So over the weekend, I conquered one of my kitchen fears, as irrational as it may seem. And let me tell you, it was tasty. 🙂 Maybe next time, I’ll try baking one in the oven. **shudder**