I sure do love a roast chicken. I have read how remarkably easy it is to make one and yet had never made one. It seemed a no brainer for my kitchen project – not only could I feed my face some delicious food, but since I was guaranteed to have leftovers, I could extend the number of meals out of one chicken. One whole roasting chicken was to become a dinner of roast chicken, Hasselback potatoes, and a lovely red lettuce salad. And then the chicken was to become chicken enchiladas. And maybe chicken soup. Possibly toppings for salads.
The point is, I had big plans for this chicken.
Also? I had company for dinner and I kinda wanted to make this impressive and delicious meal. I’ve always been the baker, and not a cook.
So I started with a recipe for herb roast chicken from Cooking Light magazine.
Salt, pepper and lemon juice went inside the chicken. I improvised and added a few cloves of garlic (yummmmmmy). The top of the chicken was smeared with a rosemary, thyme, shallot and butter mixture.
Raw chicken? Abso-freaking-lutely disgusting.
But ooh, this smelled so good.
And then I shoved the two lemon halves in the chicken’s “body cavity” and felt I owed the chicken an apology.
I guess I’ll mention right about now that I didn’t actually have a roasting pan. No problem, I thought, I’ll just use this glass 9×13 baking dish! The chicken was certainly small enough, the pan was certainly big enough.
This is the part that gets a little fuzzy.
Fuzzy because this is where I messed up.
The chicken was in the oven, I’m reading over the recipe and I realize I forgot to throw the water in the bottom of the pan like the directions said.
Knowing that the temperature difference between hot and cold and glass dishes is a bad thing, I used hot water.
Opened the oven, poured the water in.
AND THE FREAKING PAN SHATTERED.
In retrospect, given that I wasn’t using a roasting pan and the chicken wasn’t on a rack and blah-blah-blah, I could have probably skipped that water step.
So, uh, as you can see. That was about the end of the chicken.
It brought up a whole new series of lessons in this cooking project though -
1. Learn to roll with the punches.
I have had some fun successes with this project. I have had some delicious food and some amazing beverages. I have had a ridiculous amount of fun while trying to make things I’ve never made before. NOT every project is gonna be a success.
Admittedly? I didn’t roll with the punches well here. I berated myself a whole lot, I kinda beat myself up about it, I was really so so very disappointed in myself. Here I am, trying to impress, trying to make an exceptional meal… and I blow up a baking dish and cover my kitchen with glass shards. Um. Yeah. Hi, I’m Sarah. I’m kinda new to this kitchen thing. And who’s to say – the next time I mess up (and surely I’ll mess up again), I may not do any better at letting it not get to me. But… I realize I need to. It wasn’t the end of the world.
2. Sure it’s important to have good cooking gear and use amazing ingredients, but choosing the right dining companions matters just as much.
Anyone else could have mocked me or ridiculed me for this fiasco. Not just anyone would have dubbed this mess Walter White Chicken, been glad I wasn’t hurt by glass, and taken me out for beer and nachos before returning back to my house where he helped me sweep out the glass and scrub the butter from the bottom of my oven and its racks. But despite my inability to cook a chicken (yet!), I had great company in the kitchen.
The beer was great, the nachos were amazing, and my face hurt from smiling (despite the fact that not long before that, my feet were tiptoeing around broken pieces of a blue glass dish).
Today, I bought a new 9″ x 13″ pan.
I also bought a roasting pan.
I don’t know if I can cross roast chicken off my list yet, but before I exploded everything, it was smelling really good and so I think I’m heading in the right direction with the recipe. I’m gonna call that my trial run. I will try again. Soon.