Archive for the 'Cooking' Category

Chicken for Dinner – Using the Grill

A repost.

Did this again tonight, but did it on the grill this time. Still used the cast iron skillet. Essentially used the grill as an oven.

The original post:

This is a very typical dinner around the White Rock Kitchen. Roast chicken. I can take, in this case, a 6lb whole chicken and have it on the table in less than an hour. Not bad when you consider that I walked through the door at about 6:30pm. We do tend to eat a little late in the evening at White Rock Kitchen, but we do eat together most nights. I like having dinner with the family.

Here’s the chicken at the start:

Here I’ve cut the backbone and the keel bone out of the bird:

Spatchcock-001

Because I didn’t plan ahead, this will have a white trash aspect to it. I next rubbed the bird down with some olive oil and seasoned it with regular ol’ Lemon Pepper Seasoning. We have this in the large container you can get from Sam’s. Here’s the chicken ready for the oven:

Spatchcock-002

Notice that I’ve cut the knuckles off the drumsticks and have also taken off the wing tips.

Don’t forget to slash the bird at the wing joint:

Spatchcock-004

And between the leg and thigh:

Spatchcock-003

I put this in a 400 degree oven.

Spatchcock-005

You can see my cast iron skillet that I use to cook the bird. The cast iron was put into the oven empty and was preheated along with the oven.

You will have a hard time overcooking the bird. I sometimes use a temperature probe and cook the bird to 160 degrees internal temperature in the large part of the breast. Sometimes I just look at it. Sometimes I get involved in something else and it will come out of the oven kind of shriveled up. It has always tasted good. It has never turned out dry. With the skin and fat left on the bird, the meat will remain nice an moist.

Here it is straight from the oven:

SpatchcockB

It fell apart when I took it from the skillet to cool:

SpatchcockB-001

After resting for a few minutes, here it is cut up:

SpatchcockB-002

It was delicious.

Chris McCandless Starved to Death

I was reminded of the troubled Chris McCandless over at Sailer’s place, where he has a post about the writer John Krakauer.

This post by a guy named Samuel Thayer, makes solid points about McCandless starving to death:

I like to measure my food in calorie-days—the number of days of my full caloric requirement that the food represents. I calculated Chris’s calorie requirement as 3,300 per day based on his age, gender, a body weight of 145 pounds, and heavy physical activity, using guidelines from Grodner et al. (1996). This estimate is rough, and the true figure would depend on many unknowable variables. Still, my point is easily demonstrated: McCandless didn’t have nearly enough food. He began his journey on April 28 with a ten pound bag of rice—which constituted less than five calorie-days. By May 9, he had only killed one grouse and had written “4th day famine” in his journal. The rice was already long gone.

And:

The squirrels that McCandless was eating (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) typically weigh five to nine ounces (Whitaker, 1996). Using seven ounces as an average, and realizing that after subtracting the skin, tail, head, bones, feet, and entrails, the edible flesh would constitute about 40 percent of that weight, or 2.8 ounces of meat per squirrel. This means that he would have needed to eat about twenty-five squirrels per day to meet his caloric requirement. If he carefully removed and ate the liver, kidneys, kidney fat, heart, lungs, and brain of each squirrel, he would have about doubled the calories that he received from each animal. Since he probably did this to some extent, I estimate that he needed roughly sixteen squirrels to equal a calorie-day.

Go read the whole post, it is fascinating. Thayer says McCandless, if he was eating just wild berries alone, would have to eat something on the order of thirteen pounds of blueberries to meet his daily caloric needs. I can’t even begin to imagine eating that much fruit in one day.

Chicken for Dinner

This is a very typical dinner around the White Rock Kitchen. Roast chicken. I can take, in this case, a 6lb whole chicken and have it on the table in less than an hour. Not bad when you consider that I walked through the door at about 6:30pm. We do tend to eat a little late in the evening at White Rock Kitchen, but we do eat together most nights. I like having dinner with the family.

Here’s the chicken at the start:

Here I’ve cut the backbone and the keel bone out of the bird:

Spatchcock-001

Because I didn’t plan ahead, this will have a white trash aspect to it. I next rubbed the bird down with some olive oil and seasoned it with regular ol’ Lemon Pepper Seasoning. We have this in the large container you can get from Sam’s. Here’s the chicken ready for the oven:

Spatchcock-002

Notice that I’ve cut the knuckles off the drumsticks and have also taken off the wing tips.

Don’t forget to slash the bird at the wing joint:

Spatchcock-004

And between the leg and thigh:

Spatchcock-003

I put this in a 400 degree oven.

Spatchcock-005

You can see my cast iron skillet that I use to cook the bird. The cast iron was put into the oven empty and was preheated along with the oven.

You will have a hard time overcooking the bird. I sometimes use a temperature probe and cook the bird to 160 degrees internal temperature in the large part of the breast. Sometimes I just look at it. Sometimes I get involved in something else and it will come out of the oven kind of shriveled up. It has always tasted good. It has never turned out dry. With the skin and fat left on the bird, the meat will remain nice an moist.

Here it is straight from the oven:

SpatchcockB

It fell apart when I took it from the skillet to cool:

SpatchcockB-001

After resting for a few minutes, here it is cut up:

SpatchcockB-002

It was delicious.

Cooking your Turkey

This woman has the right idea:

“Just put the turkey in the fucking oven.”

Again, the hat tip goes to Gerard.

Really, as someone that has cooked the turkey for family gatherings for over 20 years, it won’t turn out perfect and, because it’s turkey, it will taste like cardboard. The drinks are the key to the whole thing. We are having a smoked turkey. To go with that we are going to have afternoon cocktails (during the Cowboy game) that will include cranberry margaritas. I’m also going to do a leg of lamb, so we’ll also have red wine and tasty beer with dinner. The key to a good Thanksgiving dinner is managing your guest’s alcohol consumption.

Update for 2014: We are probably going to have a more conventional Thanksgiving menu this year. Last year’s was great, but we do have to mix things up a little. No mashed potatoes though. I’m going to grill slices of polenta instead.

The WKRP in Cincinnati Turkey Drop

A repost:

From Hulu, here is the entire episode:

For those of you who remember the episode, here is one of many youtube cuts that boils  the whole thing down to its essential core:

Now I’m going to go find the Chinese food episode from Bob Newhart.

Bob did a really good job of managing his property. His stuff is not available for free.

It’s Time…

To start thinking about apple pie…

Mary-Louise Parker Apple Pie

That would be an interesting outfit to serve dessert on Thanksgiving…

The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease

The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease – WSJ.com.

I’ve cut back on carbs and increased the percentage of fat in my diet. I can tell you this, it works at losing and then maintaining weight.

Carbs make you fat.

Your grandmother new this…

Someone Ate This

Someone Ate This.

Check it out.

Bias Confirmation!

I have a family history of heart disease. My doctor wants me to take a statin to help control my cholesterol. The last statin I was allergic too. I have no reason not to believe I’m soon going to find I’m allergic to this one too. Then along comes this article: Study Questions Fat and Heart Disease Link – NYTimes.com, and my biases are confirmed:

The smaller, more artery-clogging particles are increased not by saturated fat, but by sugary foods and an excess of carbohydrates, Dr. Chowdhury said. “It’s the high carbohydrate or sugary diet that should be the focus of dietary guidelines,” he said. “If anything is driving your low-density lipoproteins in a more adverse way, it’s carbohydrates.”

I have long thought that the low fat / high carb diet is what is making people in this country fat. I have no evidence to report to support my supposition, just 53 years of experience. No one was fat when I was young, but back then the busy bodies weren’t trying to get you to cut fat out of your diet.

About the time my mother started bringing home 2% milk, is when the waist bands started to expand.

America’s Angriest Store: Whole Foods

My trips to Whole Foods do not involve all the customers being like those described in the article linked below, but there are certainly a significant percentage of them. The more pieces of metal hanging off various parts of their face, the more likely they are going to be an angry Whole Foods shopper. From the article:

The problem with Whole Foods is their regular customers. They are, across the board, across the country, useless, ignorant, and miserable. They’re worse than miserable, they’re angry. They are quite literally the opposite of every Whole Foods employee I’ve ever encountered. Walk through any store any time of day—but especially 530pm on a weekday or Saturday afternoon during football season—and invariably you will encounter a sneering, disdainful horde of hipster Zombies and entitled 1%ers.

They stand in the middle of the aisles, blocking passage of any other cart, staring intently at the selection asking themselves that critical question: which one of these olive oils makes me seem coolest and most socially conscious, while also making the raw vegetable salad I’m preparing for the monthly condo board meeting seem most rustic and artisanal?

Read the whole thing. I was amused.