Thursday, March 11, 2010

Not "The San Francisco Treat"

So, Patrick being unemployed, I shipped him off to get a job with the Census Bureau. Yesterday, he came home with a most astonishing story: As a Census Bureau enumerator, he visited a house with a whole herd of loudly barking dogs. Specifically, these dogs were mastiffs! When the homeowner came outside, of course the mastiffs just sat down and watched him talk to Mr. Census. When Mr. Census was invited inside, the dogs were quiet. When Mr. Census left, the mastiffs hollered at him, letting him know WHOSE house he had just visited. Naturally, Patrick explained to this man that he was raised with mastiffs, and showed him Thor's picture. A nice visit was had by all!
Yesterday, because I was disorganized, I forgot to take my chicken out of the freezer until 4:00. So, exactly what do you do with a frozen chicken? Thank you, Pam! I spatchcocked it! Seriously, this is a great way to roast a chicken. Despite the fact that the bird was still frozen on the inside, I was able to cut along the spine with my kitchen shears and twist the chicken open. Remove the innards, of course, rinse the inside and salt it, then cut 2 carrots into eighths and one onion into quarters. Slide one piece each of onion and carrot under the skin of the chicken next to each thigh, tuck one piece of carrot next to each wing, then arrange the remaining veggies under the splayed out chicken. Because this was still somewhat frozen, I roasted at 375F for about
1-1/4 hours, and it was absolutely perfect.
I served a side dish inspired by two things with this chicken: First, that I had insufficient rice for the hungry hordes, second, Rice-a-Roni, which I haven't purchased in years.


1-1/2 cups rice
1/2 cup broken angel hair or spaghetti bits
1 minced onion

1 minced garlic clove
1 stick butter or margarine
4-1/2 cups water
4 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cups frozen chopped spinach

Melt the butter in a large pan; add the onion and garlic and saute until soft. Add the pasta bits and cook until golden. Stir in the rice, followed by the water and bouillon cubes. After 10 minutes, add the spinach, and cook until all of the water is absorbed. It looks pretty on the plate, and it's a great way to sneak veggies into those picky eaters!

And, while Thor is depressed, because he knows his girl is leaving soon, I have been unable to communicate to him that he has some real excitement coming his way this evening: Jeffrey called me Wednesday night. He had wanted to get on the university sponsored charter bus to get a ride from West Virginia to NYC for a career fair, but was unable to get a spot. After talking to 3 friends of his, he called to see if I would let them all come here for the night. They're driving to New Jersey where they'll catch the train to the city, and return Saturday evening. 3 new friends for Thor! How much better can life get? I'm thinking roast beef and potatoes, because what college guy doesn't love beef and potatoes? And a chocolate peanut butter cake will probably make all of Jeff's friends like me, right?

Happy weekend, everyone!


pam said...

It is the perfect way to cook chicken! Roast beef and chocolate peanut butter cake...they are not going to want to leave!

SissySees said...

Love that photo of Thor, the Census story, and the sounds of a chocolate peanut butter cake.

noble pig said...

Hey that's a pretty cool trick, I'll have to try that as disorganization suits me quite well these days!

Tatersmama said...

I did not look... I did not look... I did not look. Well, except for Thor of course. I always look at Thor, because I love that big ol' boy!
Fancy visiting a houseful of Mastiffs! It would have to be a BIG house, now wouldn't it? lol!

buffalodick said...

My wife has been working for the census for about a year(manager)..Funny how you can work for the U.S. Government, and not have benefits..

Sue said...

Roast beef and chocolate peanut butter cake should do the trick. You'll probably have guests every weekend.

Ann Made Studio said...

That is an excellent picture of Thor,a very sophisticated look :)

Sounds like a grand menu....the guys will love it.

grace said...

yes! to the beef and taters, and yes! to the spatchcocked chicken with veggies! you prepare some seriously good meals, marjie!

Pam said...

I think Jeff's friends will love you no matter what you make for them. Thor will be so happy!

I've never spatchcocked a chicken, I need to give it a try.

Deana Sidney said...

I am so in love with your dog!!! I can't imagine a room of the big guys. I was once at a dog show in a pen of Irish WOlfhounds... one of the coolest days ever. Thor looks so wonderful!!!

Claire S. said...

I couldn't tell you how many days, we run out the door and I've forgotten to take something out of the freezer ! One of these days I'll try that spatchcocked chicken.

I suspect those boys'll like you no matter what you cook, but the beef & P/B cake sound great.

Sunny said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog and visiting Izzy! Love your dog Thor! bet he is a big gentle soul. and thanks for the tips on how to cooka frozen chicken... I am always playing catch-up.

~~louise~~ said...

How adorable, Patrick the census man, carries a picture of Thor around in his pocket. Priceless!

As for your spatchcocked dinner, ingenious!!! I think you did some real creative thinking coming up with a meal like that. My favorites, of course:) And, if your planned roast beef looks anything like the one you sliced up the other day, I'll be heading back to college for a home cooked meat and potato meal. Enjoy Marjie! And thanks so much for sharing...

Lapdog Creations said...

Cute census story!

raining sheep said...

Wow, I have to remember that frozen chicken trick. I love your dog. What a sweetheart! Thank you for visiting my blog.

tavolini said...

Wow--great save on the the rice dish--I want to try that!

Chocolate peanut butter cake would win anyone over ;)