Can’t cook? Apparently, you’re not alone. Luckily, our superfoodie David Blanks is here to the rescue with a simple recipe that packs a punch…
Not long ago I had the foolish idea of trying to teach some people how to cook. I found a professional kitchen, made a simple menu—salad, potatoes, steak, baked dates and ice cream—and bought the ingredients, which I introduced to my audience one-by-one as I explained what we were going to do to them.
As you know by now, my philosophy of cooking is quite simple: get the freshest ingredients you can find and don’t fuck them up.
I put the veggies on the counter and we were fine, but when I pulled out a whole fillet, a ripple of fear ran through those assembled; some actually took a few steps backwards, and several refused to touch it all. WTF? I knew right then we had issues.
We get delivery or eat in restaurants without seeing the dishes being made. At home the dining room doors are kept closed, everything is prepared and laid out on the table, then,voila, entire meals appear. It’s magic. That an animal was killed in the process never enters our mind. We rarely see inside the kitchen and we’ve never been to a farm. We really have no idea where our food actually comes from.
Who gives a shit about global warming and its impact on agriculture when you can get all the food you need at Spinney’s?
The other thing I noticed in my little cooking class is that, not only were people afraid of touching raw meat, they were afraid of what they might do to it. Naturally, I served what we cooked but hardly anybody ate. I was hungry and the food was good. Perfectly cooked. Why wasn’t anyone touching it? Answer: They had ordered McDonald’s before class because they were afraid to eat anything they cooked themselves.
This nonsense has got to stop.
So let’s try it again. This time you can play along at home . . .
Imagine you have invited this new chick over to your place. Or you have some friends coming around on the weekend and you want to impress them. Or you’re sick and tired of ordering pizza, you’re home alone and starving, stuck in on the weekend because he didn’t call, all your friends are bitches, and well, really, screw him, he doesn’t deserve you.
For some reason you want to make some comfort food. But … you can’t cook.
I’m going to help you out. Today we’re doing a roast chicken… It will take about five minutes.
First, get a chicken, rinse it inside and out and let it dry off a bit.
Get some small potatoes and an onion too. Wash the potatoes. Cut them in half lengthwise,ya3ni, like sideways (not down the middle). It would also be nice to have some fresh rosemary or thyme or marjoram or whatever you can find in those clear little plastic bags that sit in a bin by the vegetables and fruits in the supermarket. You’ll need some butter, olive oil, and salt and pepper too.
Got that? One fresh chicken, some small potatoes, an onion, some herbs, some butter, some olive oil, salt and pepper. (You can get Spinney’s to deliver this stuff so don’t worry about actually having to go out or anything.)
Second, get your suffragi or someone to light the oven. Put it on medium. Say around 220.
You’re almost done.
Get a roasting pan and stick that sucker in there. You might be a virgin in the kitchen, but make sure you’ve got it the right side up. The breasts should always be on top, darling.
Take the skin off the onion (yes, with a knife). Cut it into quarters. Put it inside the chicken. Put a hunk of butter in there too. And some of the herbs. Rub the outside of the chicken with some more butter. Put salt and pepper on it. Done.
Easy peasy, as Jamie Oliver would say.
Place the potatoes in the roasting pan next to the chicken. Skin side down (white part up). Drizzle them with a little olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper too. Shove the pan in the oven for an hour.
That’s it. If you can manage a salad to go with it, and some ice cream for dessert, you’ll be a superstar. Let me know how it works out.
And don’t forget to turn off the oven…