Re: Can Drummers Cook?
I'm still a student, so I mostly do casserole and pasta type dishes. I do fire up some roast meat from time to time, so here's a roast chicken recipe I snatched from Jamie Oliver (I have no exact measurements of ingredients since I always go "by eye"):
- one chicken; you can also use half a chicken, or just chicken legs if you want to, as long as it still has the skin; I've also roasted a turkey thigh this way;
- a large quantity of sea salt; go for at least three pounds for a whole chicken;
- a couple of eggs;
- thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil and similar spices;
- a lemon;
- olive oil.
Optional (if you like mashed potatoes, these taste unexpectedly good):
- a few potatoes;
- butter, milk.
Wash, dry chicken. Peel some skin off the lemon, beat it up and mix it with half of the spices, lemon juice and olive oil to make sort of a marinade and spread all over and inside the chicken. Cut lemon into halves or quarters and put in the cavity with what's left of the lemon skin.
Mix eggs and the rest of the spices with the salt to a pasty consistency (you might need to add some water). Cover the bottom of your roasting pan with this paste (spread thinly and evenly, a quarter of an inch is thick enough, half an inch is a bit too much). Put the the prepared chicken on its back on the salt paste and then cover it completely in the rest of the salt paste. Again, a quarter of an inch layer is thick enough, but you might have to build a thicker layer up the sides so it doesn't slide off. Place the potatoes in the pan around the chicken (wihtout peeling).
Heat oven to 400° F (200° C), install pan with chicken and potatoes. Should take around 90 minutes for a 4.5 lb (2 kg) chicken. Since it's pretty much air-tight in salt, it won't be ruined if it cooks slightly longer than necessary. Pull out and let rest. While it rests, peel the potatoes and mash them with some milk and butter, salt & pepper, like you would do if they were boiled. You can also prepare some kind of sauce for the meat, but I usually go for it as-is with some kind of salad.
Serving is the fun part: the salt paste will have turned into a pretty hard brownish shell, and it won't look too palatable. Crack it with a large spoon or something similar and uncover the chicken: the skin will be golden brown and crispy (though maybe a bit wrinkled) and the meat will be fall-off-the-bone unbelievably juicy (and don't worry, none of it will be too salty). Mashed potatoes will also be something special - those made by boiling will never taste the same.
The recipe may sounds a bit complicated, but it's really not that hard, and is pretty much fool-proof. I'll post some very poor quality pictures of the turkey thigh I roasted this way - the first picture is the salt and eggs paste, the second is what it looks like straight out of the oven, and the last two are of the finished meat.
Oh, yeah, the aluminium foil is a good idea just to make cleanup easier.
Last edited by Fiery; 05-08-2010 at 09:13 PM.