1:55 p.m.; Finally my chicken, inside a Dutch Oven, is now inside my real oven (not the toaster as initially intended.) This is my first use of a Dutch Oven and my first use of my real oven, probably since my separation from my husband two decades ago! Wrong side up though I had placed the darn bird I had to learn from my neighbor, the one that had gifted me with his outdated, but perfectly fine Dutch Oven
(see earlier post Christmas In May.)
A chicken ought to be baked breast side down, or else the meat will turn bone dry is what I just learned.
As a mature woman, some may think I ought to know how to bake a chicken by now. Well, I have avoided touching dead meat most all of my adult life. My husband was, and the man still is, a strict vegetarian despite the heavy physical labour he always enjoyed. (While I would bring home the bacon, most of my domestic partners would usually do the cooking. I would reserve my attention to the important task of eating.) Needless to say chicken in any form or manner was not a part of our menu. My X had shared with me that after having enjoyed a chicken as a pet, he no longer could stand the thought of eating one. Bless his tender heart. I feel quiet similar without ever having had a chicken as a pet. This need for killing life, making oneself more important then another form of life is trying to say the least. I abstained from all red meat and after a decade had only a occasional bites of chicken disguised and made unrecognizable as when covered in a heavy spinach sauce such as one usually finds at East Indian buffets.
All of this changed dramatically when I brought home Isabella-girl, decidedly a meat devouring creature and lover of gross raw bloody bones.
Isabella sucking bone as if it were a lollipop in 2006.
So this is how an advertisement of a whole, organic, free range chicken, on sale, managed to catch my attention and imagination and succeeded in my bringing the bird home on impulse.
Only once, last winter, when I scored for our Occupy camp a whole chicken from a farmer at the close of our farmers market, not trusting the flimsy set up of our Occupy kitchen with the preparation of raw meat, I resigned myself to the the making of a stew that I must say got rave reviews from our Occupy campers.
Back to the afternoon, I made myself a juice from a few of those apples I gathered in public parks, plus carrots, celery and bit of beet (powerful!) in order to use the pulp which I mixed in with garlic , lemon and herbs (some growing in my pots) for stuffing. As I rubbed the chicken with the mix on the outside god-dess behold, I found myself growing fond of this bird. It felt clean and trim to the touch and looked rather well proportioned, I go as far as beautiful, this bird of mine.
The aroma of the veggies was heavenly and attracted all three of my furry ones, including the Pretty Kitty (who tends to refuse my offerings of home made cooked food in favor of canned junk) to sit, stare, wonder and wait in great anticipation.
We all had our fill by now, even the kitty took a few morsels off my hand. The skin did not come out all nice golden and crispy looking, but none of us minded. The half lemon stuffed inside might have been a mistake as it did not blend perfectly with my herbs and veggies, but the meat came out perfect, moist and delicious.
5:55 p.m.: So it was a day that started out with an apple pie, made of course from apples gathered from public parks and streets.
It progressed to my having cooked the pears picked off a tree in the back of our home and in danger of being diminished by fruit flies. The day continued on with my attending to the Garbanzo beans that had soaked for more then two days and needed to be made in to Humus. Ah, I had no idea how much I might love beans when prepared to my liking, without too much salt or oil and no canned anything, please! (Not liking beans and not liking meat makes for a precarious diet.) My day passed with having accomplished nothing but domestic tasks once more, as if I had no pressing matters to attend to, such as anything that revolves around money.