And that is precisely what I prepared for the first time a couple nights ago! I'm not talking about chicken wings, or chicken nuggets-- this was an entire chicken! (allow me to pause and soak in your admiration). I've always been intimidated by the thought of cooking an entire chicken. That's a lot of meat! What if it turned out.. fowl? That would be a meal for the birds!
Putting aside my fears and bad puns, I chose the smallest chicken I could find and consulted the foremost authority on chicken: my mother. For years and years, she has prepared the chicken in a single fabulous way, as shown to her by a Jewish neighbor named Tina. Hence the name Tina a la Chicken. Although, now that I actually know French, I realize it should actually be called Chicken a la Tina. Otherwise, the implications are terrible. Anyway, the chicken recipe is super simple and requires the grand total of TWO ingredients: 1) kosher salt, and 2) chicken.
Soak the chicken in water for half an hour to draw out the blood. Then, cover the entire chicken with kosher salt and let it sit on top of a cookie rack in the sink (please wash your dishes first) for an hour. I was appalled when I heard this piece of news, because in my mind, any food should be either piping hot, frozen, or in the fridge. Otherwise, who knows what terrible botulism and E- Coli microbes will descend from the air with a shout onto your room-temperature fare! After an hour of exposure, I totally expected the chicken to crawl out of the sink by itself.
As it turned out, the only interesting thing that happened was that I talked to my dad on the phone for a few minutes (who- I am just now realizing the irony- was feeding his chickens at the time). When the hour was up, I put the chicken in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour. About a half hour into it, I realized I had placed the chicken upside down (not resting breast-side down-- whoops!) and fixed that. I also sliced a lot of onion and tossed it in the pan. And here is where I feel very strongly that marriage has interfered with my memory, because if I had remembered how awesome those chicken onions are, I would have scrounged up every onion piece in the house and thrown it in the pot. Yes, those tender, flavorful onions are that good. You will want to make the chicken just so you can have those scrumptious onions!
The chicken turned out fine, albeit a little salty (I was a little overzealous with the kosher salt). We feasted like royalty. The next day, I cut the remaining chicken into cubes, coated it with buffalo sauce and blue cheese, and made sandwiches that my Buffalonian husband found delightful. Two hearty meals for $3! And there's still a little left over! Now that's something to crow about!