Archive for February, 2010

Oh, chicken… you’re so gorgeous. This is the 4th whole chicken I’ve roasted in as many weeks and while the first was nothing special in the looks department, I am developing some mad chicken skillz! Even when I host Thanksgiving dinner, I always have help with the roasting so I’m pretty proud of myself (work with me here). These, my first 4 solo birds, have become a true craving. I’m almost scared to make them too often because I fear that we’ll overdo it and never want them again.

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Detail time… because if you don’t roast whole chickens ever or often, I think it would be a good idea to start today! With the help of Swanson, I figured out that the ideal roasting liquid is 2 parts chicken broth to one part orange juice. It makes everything sweet and flavorful and it’s healthy, too!

I stuff my birds with celery, onion, whole garlic cloves, chunks of lemon and 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary. For the skin, I make an herb paste of a couple tablespoons of olive oil with poultry seasoning, fresh and dried rosemary, garlic salt, lemon & herb seasoning, fresh ground black pepper, and thyme. I rub the paste all over the top and also under the skin on the breast side.

And because this is an easy one pot meal, new potatoes, baby carrots and any leftover chunks of onion go on the bottom of the roasting pan, swimming in the orange juice and broth mixture (about 3 cups of it), picking up a sweet glaze that’s just enough to make them special.

I bake covered for about 75 minutes at 375º or until it’s about 10 degrees from being done. Then I remove the cover and brush the top of the bird and the potatoes with a tablespoon of melted butter, crank up the heat to 425º and stick the bird back in to brown (oooh… nice alliteration). Did you notice that the only added fat in this entire meal is about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter? It did not escape me… not any more than the fact that this chicken does NOT taste healthy and in fact I can even eat and enjoy the super tender and juicy white meat, which I would normally shun in favor of cardboard or packing peanuts.

Really, just roast TWO. It’s just as easy and they taste even better the second day. :) More from the vacation is coming soon — I still need to sort through it and figure out what to post.

1/3 of a vacation…

February 2nd, 2010

… is all I have to blog so far. But we packed a lot into the first 3 days that Bailey and I spent on Maui with my mom and dad last week.

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Bailey did really well on the trip over. She fell asleep as we were taxiing on the runway after landing at LAX for our 3 hour layover. I thought I’d missed my window of opportunity when I had to wake her, but she fell asleep again as we taxied to the runway to take off and slept for half the flight from LAX to Maui!

Dad surprised us by coming to the airport when my flight came in. We had the traditional island meal of IHOP (what? You’ve never heard that about IHOP? 😉 ) before heading off to Ka’anapali to the Maui Ocean Club where my mom owns three weeks but has never stayed longer than two.

We started the week with a relaxing day by the pool, but I didn’t bring out the camera until we headed to the beach. Dad kept his socks and shoes on the whole time, but since he’s perpetually relaxed I don’t really think it hindered his enjoyment. I, on the other hand, somehow forgot how much I hate sand and ended up covered in it and far wetter than I planned to be. It was days before I stopped finding sand in everything and it’s still trapped in the fibers of our suits.

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We spent our second full day hanging out at dad’s house at the Makani Olu Ranch in Waikapu. It was almost like being a kid again, hanging with my mom and dad. Sometimes it’s hard to remember just how alike they are, but though they come from different angles and have different reasons, they are so very similar in the end. A slow pace, steady and even. Predictable and comfortable. I always know I shouldn’t expect to rush when I’m near either one of them, though my brain still has a hard time accepting what it should know quite well.

We walked up to the pasture to meet the new baby goats, one of them (the little white one) was just a week old. They followed us, glued to our heels as if they were puppies instead of livestock. The littlest was barely bigger than dad’s shoe — as Bailey would say, “so coot!”

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Apparently they have the largest herd of Texas longhorn cattle on Maui. They were very friendly and curious, several almost ate my camera getting far too close for me to focus a proper shot. It does make you feel a little unprotected being out there with dozens of them, though. I had a hard time turning my back on them.

After we met the livestock, we took a 4-wheeler ride up the mountain to see the property from above. What an amazing experience and one I’m so glad we didn’t miss. I almost passed on the ride because of my fears for Bailey’s safety, but at 5 mph and in the very capable and careful hands of my dad, she was safe and sound on our ride. We didn’t even get to see it all, so I hope to have the opportunity to check out more next year.

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I stopped myself from editing out the pink tint on the (scary) bridge in the photo above because it really is just the red dirt. Copious amounts of it cover everything on the property, including anyone who passes through, especially if they pass through on a 4 wheeler. My camera bag is still covered in so much red dirt that I was afraid I would have to declare it to the USDA inspectors.

I have a bunch more to blog even from the ride at the ranch, but I am sure my thousands of adoring fans will try to remember that patience is a virtue (yes, honey, I’m talking to you) and will gladly wait for the second installment. :)