We went to a movie and had Thai food yesterday. The themes in that movie are still with me today like you cannot believe. They just are. Because what happened in that movie I was talking about happened to my husband. I have thought about writing it, and I might. As a novel.
Today I have decided, since I didn’t fix a traditional Christmas dinner that I will make an old standby thing he likes a lot. Don’t read if you are a vegetarian because it involves chicken.
I’m going to make chicken with roast potatoes and onions — here is how — and I always serve honeyed carrots with this. It is a winter meal.
I have a giant cast iron pan I bought years ago. It is so big around that you cannot believe it and quite heavy too. It’s a giant frying pan made by Lodge Cast Iron. I think it is 20 inches? But here is a picture of it! (Or a similar pan).
You need a whole chicken preferably a free range if possible.
Wash and salt the cavity. Place in the center of the pan and surround with Yukon Gold potatoes that you have peeled, and cut into quarters or halves if small. Take two onions and peel and quarter them and tuck around the potatoes. I like to use sprigs of rosemary — I have it growing outside on the patio– take about six or seven big 7″ sprigs and lay these on top. It takes about three hours at 350-375 degrees.
Start to baste about halfway along, or after an hour. The potatoes will be done when they are golden and the onions will carmelize down with the rosemary into something very good.
For the carrots — I take a bunch, wash and peel, then cut into sticks. Boil just to blanch and soften them — but they should be crisp and bright orange. Then drain off the water and add butter and honey — you decide on the amount. I use about half a stick and a huge few tablespoons of honey. Reheat and toss the carrots around in this.
Winter comfort food — that comes from the English/Irish tradition but, passed through a French lens, I suppose.
Anyway. That Movie “Up in the Air” says it all. When that happened to him, I left too.
I worked with types just like that.
I’m looking at my gardening books and my cookbooks. I like to make pottery and art. I never wanted to spend all those years in such a crummy corporation as the one I worked for. So, when the Clooney character is talking about backpacks that resonated, mucho.
What backpack are you carrying?
Or have you carried?
Better yet what do you want in your backpack?
My old backpack carried other people.
In my new backpack I don’t want to have to do that again.
I really don’t. What I want is land and poetic solitude. This exists along the long coast here, for miles. Miles and miles.
I hope you have a good weekend, post-Christmas.
One of the biggest things people search for are those quiche recipes I did! LOL!
Maybe I should do simple little cookbooks…
ps: Lodge is a great American pan company. I love cast iron pans. They make the best ones and they did not pay me to say that. Lodge pans are the best! I have owned them for years. They are the only pans I would buy made from cast iron, ever.