238 and 8 specials
Days Left until March 9, 2016:
Well this week took an interesting turn - roast chicken or I guess it is technically broiled chicken. I really hate roasting chicken.
Mainly because I either undercook or overcook it, but also (and maybe more hypocritically) because it reminds me that it once had a life as opposed
to a random squishy shape which allows me to pretend otherwise. Luckily episode 4 was mainly just about leafy greens and salad!
Episode Four - "Salad Daze"
Why you should never chop greens with a knife, the various types of greens, how to prolong crispy greens,
and properly wash without lettuce becoming a wilty mess. How to make the perfect, basic vinaigrette.
Thoughts, musings, other:
One reason I am loving this little challenge is even though I have been doing these basic tasks for a while, they have been without much intention or knowledge.
Can you make a dang salad without said facts, sure. Clearly I have been making salads for quite a while, but I always had issues with wilty greens and had heard not to chop lettuce with a knife, but
I still did it. However, now I know scientifically why you should not do it and why it turns brown and I will never forget it. Also, I must share this old-school saying that Alton shared
for making the perfect vinaigrette - "be a miser with vinegar, a spendthrift with oil and a wise man with salt" or something like that...genius I say.
Here is his recipe for Vedi Vedi Vinaigrette
is super easy and yummy!
Further Investigations on lettuce- because I like botany and such:
Fancy science name:
Lactuca sativa L.
There are seven main groups - Leaf, Romaine, Crisphead, Butterhead, Summercrips, Stem and Oilseed.
Daisy family - Compositae
A, E, C, B1, B2, B3 (leaves).
Can be a good sedative, diuretic, and improves circulation.
Why cut lettuce turns brown:
It's all about the polyphenol oxidases (a bunch of enzymes).
From my limited understanding, the browning occurs when plant cells are broken
or break down and the enzymes are exposed to oxygen kicking off a chemical process that produces melanin (the discoloration we see on certain fruits and veggies).
When you tear lettuce, it tends to rip around the border of the cell instead of breaking it.
Whatever, here is an article
Episode Five - "A Bird in the Pan"
How to butterfly a chicken, how to quickly broil it and how to not act like a big "chicken"
(there may have been many cries for help and gagging noises...no I am not dramatic). I did enjoy learning the gremolata recipe, used to stuff the bird
and the approach of roasting/broiling a chicken sitting on aromatic veggies as opposed to a rack.
Thoughts, musings, other:
I pretty much hated every second of this task. If the fate of humanity rested on me killing/butchering an animal...well it's been
nice knowing you humanity...eeeek. I named him Steve. Also I failed miserably at cooking this dang bird. Every time I roast a chicken, the recipe has
the time, in this instance it was supposed to be 20 - 28 minutes, you check the internal temp, which for chicken should be 170F.
Well that never happened. An hour later after several pokes, removing from oven, throwing back in oven and flips, I called it done as it finally crept to 160F.
It was of course very done and dry...epic fail. I don't know what I did wrong. I even tried two thermometers and several different locations.
This happens every time I roast a chicken...every time.
Luckily, my husband is an expert roaster of chicken so if I never master this skill, at least I have back-up and less emotional trama.
Maybe you will have more luck, here is his recipe for broiled, butterflied chicken
Stupid dry Steve and some yummy salad: