I've done several turkeys for Thanksgiving, but have never attempted to roast a chicken. I was flipping through the book to find something to make for earlier in the week and stumbled across page 403, which sounded delicious. I read highlights of the recipe aloud to my husband and he agreed, we had to have it that night. The part I somehow managed to gloss over was that the chicken needs to marinate for a few days, which is why we didn't actually get to try it until last night.
On Wednesday I picked up the chicken (just a small one -- a little more than three pounds) and a couple other things I needed for the recipe. This is another of those recipes where you probably have the majority of the items already in your pantry or refrigerator. I cleaned the chicken up, gave her a healthy salt rub-down, and she made my fridge her home until last night.
The prep for the chicken after all the salt was absorbed only took 10 or 15 minutes; another rub down (this time with olive oil), cutting up lemons and garlic to shove into her, and chopping some herbs to let cook underneath her skin. Then it's into the oven for about an hour and twenty minutes, but you rotate the chicken every once in a while so that both side are beautiful and crispy and delicious.
I wanted to be sure to get another recipe in last night to work toward my goal (5 per week, so I still have one left), so while at work yesterday, I hurriedly flipped through the recipes trying to find something that wouldn't be too time consuming. After deciding on the fried ricotta balls, I ran out on my lunch break to get ricotta, parmigiana, and bread crumbs.
This recipe is another pretty quick one once you have all your ingredients lined up. The cheesy interior of the balls is made up of the two cheeses I bought at the store, an egg yolk, garlic, and some herbs. Although the recipe called for fresh goat or sheep's milk ricotta, it gives alternate directions if you have cow's milk ricotta, which was all I was able to find at Fresh Market.
I've never fried anything before -- it uses a lot of oil. A disgusting amount, in fact. You get the oil really hot, dip the cheese balls into egg and then into breadcrumbs, and throw them on it. Mine kind of fell apart in the oil, I think because my ricotta was too moist and should have been given more time to drain. The balls came out sloppy and gooey looking, but they were pretty delicious anyway. I probably wouldn't do this recipe again, just because of how messy and wasteful frying seems, but if I did, I'd give plenty of time for the ricotta to drain out, and maybe find a tasty sauce to dip the balls in.
Shortly after I finished up with the frying escapade, the chicken was ready to come out of the oven. It was beautiful. The skin was all crackly and delicious, and the meat was lovely and tender. I used the leftover juices from the bird, mixed with a little white wine and boiled down together to create a tasty semi-sweet sauce to dribble over the chicken. Voila. We have dinner.
We also have leftovers, yum.
The other thing I started last night is Sullivan Street Bread. The dough is currently rising, and will go into the oven this afternoon. More on that later!
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