Thursday, April 4, 2013
Roasted Chicken with Lemon, Lavender and Fennel
When I was in my early elementary school years, I was convinced that one needed to do everything perfectly to move on to the next grade. Every spelling test, every math worksheet, every page in the phonics workbook needed to be perfect. And obviously - mistakes were made. Anxiety would ensue.
When I finally learned that I was actually moving on to the next grade, despite making some errors, such relief would come over me.
I eventually learned that perfection wasn't needed to move on to the next grade. But a pursuit of this mythical idea of perfection never truly went away. I rationally understand the concept of "we can't be perfect." But on an emotional level, I haven't quite internalized that. So anxiety continues to ensue.
It took me a long time to make a roasted chicken. Making it perfect seemed so overwhelming -
how to achieve crispy, golden skin, to brine or not to brine, to truss or not too truss. A paralyzingly fear resulted. We all know that perfect can be the enemy of the good. I finally just started doing it and kept things simple. This roasted chicken isn't perfect. But it was very good. And that is enough sometimes.
2-3 tablespoons duck fat
1 small fennel bulb, halved
2 lemons, halved
4 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon dried lavender
1 rosemary sprig
couple thyme sprigs
freshly ground black pepper
1 roasting chicken
Heat oven to 400. Rinse the chicken and pat dry, and be sure to remove the organs. Rub the duck fat over the chicken. Sprinkle vanilla salt, black pepper, and a touch of fresh rosemary and thyme leaves, and some fennel fronds on the outside.
Inside a cavity, stuff with the fennel, garlic, half a lemon, lavender, and sprigs of rosemary and thyme.
Around the chicken, nestle in some lemon halves, thyme sprigs, and some more fennel fronds.
Roast for 1-2 hours, until the breast meat reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees.