I promised Aaron that if he picked up a small chicken, I would try my hand at the classic Chicken with Two Lemons recipe that is famous for having only salt, pepper, lemons, and chicken on the ingredients list. No fats, butter, or oil, just the juiciest meat possible as a result of the chemical reaction of the lemon juice swelling inside of the chicken as it roasts.
[mainbodyad]With very little work, the roasted centerpiece was done in around an hour and twenty minutes. Its reputation was well deserved as it was the moistest chicken meat I’ve ever had in my life; exactly as everyone raved. Though an Italian dish, we combined it with American farm-style green beans, which involve cooking down the vegetable over very long periods of time with some other preparation. It was delicious. I’ll absolutely make this recipe again as it is going in the permanent collection. The entire meal, which can feed up to four people, cost less than $2.75 per serving.
This dish, more than any other, made me realize what Hazan meant when she said, “[Italian] [f]ood, whether simple or elaborate, is cooked in the style of the family. There is no such thing as Italian haute cuisine because there are no high or low roads in Italian cooking. All roads lead to the home, to la cucina di casa – the only one that deserves to be called Italian cooking.” and “The taste they have been devised to achieve wants not to astonish, but to reassure.” Truth be told, as extraordinary as it turned out in the end, this is one area where French cooking wins out over Italian for me. Here, it was all about the flavor of the meat. It was simplicity itself. When it comes to roasted chicken, though, I love the decadence and excess of a white wine and butter sauce; a cream garnish; a brown gravy. I like it served with aligot potatoes or a few, long, garden-style haricots verts spooned with a red wine reduction. I don’t want reassurance or comfort food, I want hedonism so great it approaches transgression.
Who knew I’d someday demand so much from my poultry? Growing up, I thought chicken was chicken. There were the McNugget kind and the frozen skinless kind.
I would like to go to bed, but I need to finish at least two more things on my task list before I turn in for the night. I was hoping to get in some Kingdom Hearts time but I don’t think that is going to happen.