I subscribe to a few blogs about life and cooking via Goolge Reader, and I occasionally find my mornings hijacked by them. I see a new post, and sure enough, there is a tantilizing recpipe accompanied by pics that make your mouth water. Suddenly I'm planning out dinner. This morning I was greeted with this post on French Kitchen in America, and my dinner menu was set.
It looked so tasty. I'd never cooked a whole chicken before, and was a little concerned that it would be too much leftovers, but then I figured I could always use any leftover meat in a soup. On my way home I stopped at Stater Bros. and was pleaseantly surprised - a whole chicken is about half the price of the packages of a particular cut. My whole chicken was only $3.50. In hindsight, I suppose it makes sense - they aren't preparing it for you, just sticking it in a bag - but I just never thought that even though it's more meat, it would be so much less. Even sillier - Bobby prefers white meat, and I prefer dark, so it makes sense for me to just buy whole chickens.
I flirted with the idea of adding in some asparagus (I'm currently in love with asparagus), but I decided instead to try the original recipe first, play with it next time. I did, however, go with Mimi's variations by adding potatoes and putting lemons inside for extra moisture (oh, how I hate and fear dry chicken).
Never having prepared a whole chicken before means I've also never had to deal with the gizzards. Not sure why exactly why this grosses me out so much, but armed with my plastic bag I was able to handle it.
As it came closer to the end of the cook time, I found myself checking the time and temperature impatiently. I'd been dreaming about it all day, and I was getting hungry. When I pulled my meal out of the oven it looked like this:
Not much different from Mimi's pic, although she's a better photographer than I am. I was eager to dig in, but I impatiently waited out the instructed 10 minutes before carving. It all smelled so lovely.
The chicken was incredibly juicy, but I'd expected a bit more flavor in the meat. It was very good, but next time I think I'll add in more Herbes de Provence - on both the chicken and the vegetables. Perhaps I will brine the chicken with the herbs for the day, and cook later. That should help infuse the flavor deeper into the meat. As for the veggies, I think that by adding the potatoes I diluted the seasoning. The onions and tomatoes were very flavorful and tasty, and the olives made for a nice contrast. Next time, I think more garlic slices. I love garlic.
I think I will make soup with the leftovers. All of them. Just throw them in a pot with some stock and some additional Herbes de Provence; maybe a bay leaf as well. Should be tasty.