Last week I bought a chicken. Not boneless chicken breasts. Not chicken wings. But the chicken – whole.
One of the first things we bought for our new apartment was a countertop oven. It’s nothing hugely special. But it works. And it allows us to make bread! I was anxious to use the rotisserie option in our new oven, and the whole chicken I had bought was just the opportunity.
Last Wednesday I spent probably 1 hour in the morning looking at how to make a rotisserie chicken. I looked for one of the simplest recipes I could find.
I went to the grocery store just after noon to gather the ingredients to dress up the chicken.
Later that afternoon I take out the chicken out of the wrap and start to prepare dinner. I do what the instructions I read online said to do: wash the chicken inside and out while checking to make sure that the giblets and kidneys have been removed.
What I was not expecting when cleaning the top of the chicken was this:
I hadn’t seen the neck because it was tucked underneath the little guy. I didn’t realize it was still attached until I was lifting up the chicken to wash it in the sink.
Since I didn’t know what to do. I chopped the head off. The recipe did say to cut off excess fat- the neck was excess fat right?
As I continued to clean the bird, another unexpected thing happened.
Again, the recipes I read never said anything about feet. Can you eat feet? (You probably can seeing as the local grocery store sells packaged chicken feet.) Oh well. They got chopped off too.
I put my lemons and garlic into the cavity and under the skin with butter and salt as the recipe instructed. I then proceeded to put the rotisserie pole through the chicken. Done.
Next job: rotisserie forks. These got put on the pole, wedged into the chicken, and screwed into the pole. Done.
This is the part where all I had read indicated I was to secure the dead animal to the pole using either cooking twine or cooking pins. I did not have either of these objects. Nor did I see them at the grocery store.
Dental Floss! I couldn’t leave the bird flailing as it rotated in the oven, now could I??? I had to secure it somehow. Please don’t judge me for using dental floss to tie up the new captor.
Did I mention the dental floss was mint flavor? Oh well…
Finally, the chicken is washed, stuffed, poled, forked, tied up and ready to be put in the oven.
I put in the rotisserie pole and set it on the one support that will spin it in the oven. My pole is an inch shy of the other side of the oven where the remaining support waited. I changed my method and put it in the opposite side first. Still too short.
I read the manual. I looked at the box with the picture of rotisseries, etc. As far as I can tell our oven came with a pole that was an inch too short. I probably should have tested the pole out before securing the chicken to the pole. What was I going to do now? I couldn’t just lengthen the pole.
The chicken sat on a rotisserie pole… on a pan. Some much for the “Rotisserie”… it was just going to sit there. It needed a break anyways, right? And this way I didn’t have to test whether the dental floss would retain the chicken as it twirled away. So, my chicken just sat there on the pan and cooked.
It goldened up really nicely. (You’ll have to take my word for it, I was so caught up in dinner preparations and then later eating it that I never thought to take a picture of the cooking or cooked chicken.)
But, how would I tell when it was done? My meat thermometer was somewhere in the Atlantic (or maybe Pacific?) ocean on our shipment containing the vast majority of our kitchen supplies.
Improvisation # 5
Wait till the chicken looks golden and crispy. Pull out the chicken. Cut into the chicken. No pinkness. It’s done.
Amazingly, in spite of all the adventures the chicken turned out great! Not dry, not underdone, not bland, not minty… just right.
It tasted like chicken… really! With a hint of lemon and garlic 🙂
I came, I saw, I conquered.
I can just see some local Singaporean going to the States and buying a chicken. I can imagine the response, “What did they do with the head? Where is it? <Gasp!> I can’t believe they took off the feet! They robbed me of the best part of the chicken.”
Future Chicken Adventure?
Now some thing I haven’t conquered yet is:
Yeah, that’s right. The label says “FRESH BLACK CHICKEN.” I’ve had my fill of chicken adventures for a while. The black chicken can stay on the store shelf for now.