Tuesday, July 26, 2011

and the birds cease to sing when you rise

obscure title day! i chose this lyric because a. i'm wearing turquoise, and that's the name of the song i'm quoting; b. sam's been playing donovan records a lot lately and c. i roasted a chicken last night so birds ceasing to sing seemed like a morbidly appropriate lyric!

so! after a few days of ordering food to beat the heat last week, we've decided to just embrace it and drink cold beer to compensate. we got a nifty vertical chicken roaster from our wedding registry (thanks little brother!) and i've been really loving it - it cooks the bird evenly and has a nice little well for veggies, and for easily catching the liquids that are released during the cooking. i wanted to use as many ingredients from the farmer's market as possible, so i came up with this pretty straightforward recipe.

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kumquat & fennel roasted chicken

3 1/2 pound chicken
about 1 T of good, chunky mustard (we got some at the market that is basically mustard seeds and honey, soooo good and simple)
2 T butter, melted
2 onions
fennel (i just used some leftover stems that i had)
salt & pepper
about 8 kumquats, some halved and some sliced
one ripe peach (optional)


this is an adaptation from a cooks illustrated recipe - i use their methods, but not their ingredients. makes nice, crunchy skin on the wings and lets and soft, juicy meat inside. quite tasty, indeed.

start off by brining your chicken. this, they tell me, keeps it nice and juicy, and it certainly seems to work. dissolve 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of salt into a pot of water big enough to cover your chicken, and let it sit, covered, in your fridge for at least an hour or even overnight if you think of it ahead of time. remove from water, pat dry, and set on your roaster (or in a roasting pan on a rack if you prefer.) we buy cleaned chickens that have already had their giblets and whatnot - it makes for a much easier time. preheat the oven to 375.

chop up the onions into thick slices, cut about half of the kumquats in half, and dice up your fennel and stuff the chicken as full as you can with the three. take the remainder that won't fit and scatter them in the pot below the chicken; with the extra kumquats, cut into slices and set aside. melt your butter and mix the mustard into it, then brush on liberally. salt and pepper the chicken, then squeeze and cover with the remaining kumquats. go ahead and place it in the oven and cook it at 375 for 30 minutes, plus 5 extra minutes for each 1/2 pound of bird (so if you're cooking a 4 pound chicken, give it 35.) drop the temperature down to 200 and roast for an hour, then take out the chicken, use the brush (or a baster, mine is broken) to brush with some of the liquids that have pooled at the bottom, and add the peach at this point if you want. i loved the peaches cooked this way, but sam didn't care for them - they definitely taste like chicken fatty peaches, so if that doesn't sound up your alley, skip this step. crank your oven back up to 400 and cook until a thermometer inserted in the thigh reads 170 - should be about 10-15 minutes.

kumquats: also delicious in your tecate.
unable to locate any green tomatoes, i attempted some fried green tomatillos, but they were a big disappointment. pretty though!

meeting a friend for drinks after work today, so i decided to step it up a bit and pull out a dress from my new favorite thrift store in new jersey - part of a haul that included this dress and this dress, with still a couple more to be debuted.


apologies for the mess behind me. i'm in the process of re-organizing my room and i have come to the conclusion that i quite simply need to throw a bunch of stuff away, but i have a lot of trouble parting with anything. . .

dress: thrifted
belt: thrifted
pin: c/o accessorize
shoes: nine west

stay cool and have a lovely tuesday!

xo audrey


  1. dinner sounds excellent. Def worth turning on the oven for such a feast!

  2. That looks absolutely mouth-watering! Thanks for sharing.


  3. absolutely love your dress! xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  4. i adore that blue color. i was thinking i want to see those necklaces in the background better, & i want that black hat!


  5. Aww, such a cute look! I love blue with pink, especially if the blue is turquoise! The bow pin as a brooch is perfect.

  6. the chicken looks absolutely delicious and i LOVE the color of your dress. thank you for your sweet words on my blog. hard to believe that the hubby and i are old married farts, and not newlyweds....wishing you and sam the same wedded bliss.
    p.s. i also love that bow pin from accessorize

  7. i am drooling after looking at those photos (the food ones, not the dress ones, that would be weird :) )

  8. i gotta find out first what "brining" means. and i think i need a pictionary before i can attempt any of these dishes.

    hoarders unite!

  9. This looks soo good! I'm getting lazy with the heat and we've been ordering food too..it's just too hot! Love the dress, such a pretty color!


  10. thanks so much everybody!

    @十十f十 brining is kind of like marinating. . . with salt and water. helps the meat retain moisture.

    @Norbyahthank you so much! hoping sam and i are happy old married farts like you guys one day. xo