Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall chicken dinner, and a minor disagreement with the weather

It's hot. Way too hot for fall.

I suppose that I should be thankful that I now live in the Silicon Valley and not Santa Cruz. The Silicon Valley has enough of a weather change in the fall that you can actually feel it. It's just that it comes around so stinking late... and here I am, drinking my pumpkin spiced lattes iced because it's 90 freaking degrees outside, and I've got no air conditioning. Frickity frick frick.

So last night I get it in my head that I want a fall dinner. Of course. Because, technically it's fall. And I have a right to delicious fall food. 

The wishbone and I had a little argument... but this bird is still sexy.

Turns out, there's a reason fall food is fall food.

I roasted probably the most beautiful chicken I have ever laid eyes on. Crispy skin, happy little wings all tucked under... I even remembered to take out the wishbone so i could remove the breasts without a fight.  Everything about the bird was perfect... except for a 450 degree oven for 50 - 60 minutes. In my tiny apartment. With no air conditioner. 90 degrees outside.

 These sweet potatoes... Oh man, these sweet potatoes.

Bless his soul, despite the unbelievable heat in this god forsaken place, Raed - resident Curried Cabbage photographer and the crinkle to my crisp - still managed to take some great shots of the finished bird and my famous sweet potatoes.  

He quit before he made it to the zucchini. Poor boy. All hungry and melting. We'll visit that dish at another time... another less hell-like time.

How to Roast the most Perfect Chicken Ever
  • Rinse off the defrosted (Never frozen? Even Better!) bird and pat as dry as possible.  I know your momma told you to stuff that bird full of all sorts of things, but we're not doing that today. Today, we want a crispy skinned bird with moist, delicious fleshy bits. The less steam you subject your bird to during cooking, the better it will be.  I know. Sounds nuts. IS NOT NUTS.
  • Give the outside of the bird a good coating of Olive Oil.  Sprinkle the outside of the bird with about a teaspoon of kosher salt, and pepper to taste.  
  • Place your bird in a baking dish or roasting pan, and put in a 450 degree oven for about 50-60 minutes.  Try not to mess with it. Don't even baste it.  TRUST ME.
  • When you take the bird out, remove it from the roasting pan.  Add about a half teaspoon of fresh thyme (or to taste) to the drippings in the bottom of the pan, and use a few spoonfuls of the dripping to baste the bird.
  • Leave it alone for 10 minutes. LEAVE IT.
  • Carve it up, baby. 

Spicy Sweet Potatoes (Or, Vegetables Should Never Come with Tiny Marshmallows Sweet Potatoes)
Serves 2-3

1 large garnet yam, or sweet potato of your choice
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 clove garlic minced very, very fine
Extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: One minced chipotle pepper (this will heat them up significantly, but the flavors are completely bomb together, so if you're feeling sassy...)

  • Cut the sweet potato into bite-sized pieces.  It doesn't really matter how you do this. It's a sweet potato. Cut them into dinosaurs if you want, as long as they're bite-sized.
  • Put the cut sweet potatoes into a roasting pan
  • Add the chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper, (chipotle if you're adding it) and enough olive oil to coat all of the potatoes.
  • Mix those babies up with your hands, making sure the oil and spices are evenly distributed
  • Roast the potatoes at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through, and they begin to caramelize at the edges.


  1. that chicken looks absolutely to die for.... i'm going to have to test your recipe out!!!

  2. Lindsey,
    I watched Rachel Ray the other day when you were on there, not sure if it was a re run or "now" but when you talked about these potatoes I could have sworn you or Rachel mentioned Adobo seasoning too. I didn't know for sure so I made these potatoes but I used the adobo, didn't have a chipotle pepper but the potatoes turned out great. I have made them twice in two days now. Oh yum. I knew I had heard you say Chipotle so I bought the sauce in the store. I dipped some of the pieces in it. Still yum

    Diana from Wisconsin

  3. Hi Diana!

    Sorry it took me so long to respond... traveling back home the last few days.

    Glad you liked the recipe! What I use for the potatoes is chipotle peppers in adobo. It's a canned product that you can find in the Hispanic food section in pretty much every store. I mince one of the peppers super fine and mix them with the potatoes before baking. I LOVE spicy, so i will add some of the adobo that they come in, too, when I do this at home.

    The can comes with several peppers, so I usually put the remainder in a ziplock bag, and stick them in the freezer. When you need them the next time, just pop out the pepper and adobo block, slice of a hunk, mince and add to the potatoes.

    By the way, I often add these peppers to shredded chicken for tacos as well.

    Thanks for the comment!