This past Sunday, a new season of America's Test Kitchen started. The show's topic dealt with the use of cast iron. The show suggested preheating both the oven and cast iron pan in a 500° oven. If you use cast iron to cook a steak, the result for rare was a nice exterior crust and meat that's juicy and pink inside. They also spratchcocked a whole chicken (removing the backbone and cracking the sternum to flatten the chicken before cooking), which enabled the chicken to cook in about 30 minutes, faster than roasting a whole chicken.
I picked up a small chicken yesterday at Wegmans for $2.99/lb. Feeling confident, I gave this method a try yesterday. I didn't have a pair of poultry scissors, but what I did have was a pair of scissors that doctor's use to cut off plaster casts. It worked fairly fine, but I need to invest in a pair of poultry scissors. Once the backbone was out, I needed a bit of muscle to crack the sternum. It took a few tries but I got it done.
In my files I had a recipe for roast chicken with lemon and thyme, which adjusted to cook for a smaller, spratchcocked chicken. Although I didn't have fresh thyme as the recipe called for, I used some recently fresh dried thyme and it worked just as well. The chicken turned out fabulous. It was juicy, nicely browned and cooked in about 30 minutes. The aroma wafting through the house was wonderful and it warmed the kitchen on a cold day. I had some Williams-Sonoma chicken gravy base that I made to go along with it, mashed potatoes and string beans. This method was great as I was on "fold patrol" last night and I was able to have dinner done in about an hour.
I have been invited to blog for a website called busy-mom.com. I'll be sharing recipes and food shopping tips with the readers. Other bloggers on the site will cover fitness, beauty and health topics. This is an exciting challenge for me, I hope that my ideas spurn others to try more home cooking.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.