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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Roasted Chicken, Cooking Lounge Blog Launch, Gnarls Barkley

I decided to reach out and present my take on food, music and lifestyle for people who want to eat well, entertain and enrich their life.  Cooking Lounge is about simple easy ways to do-it-in-style without breaking the bank.  CL is a guide, not a how to manual.


With the economy in decline, prices rising, velvet ropes, bottle service, don't do this, don't do that, it's time we all got back to having fun with friends at home.


CL blog evolved from many years of exploring a passion for food, music, cooking and life.  Plus, there were quite a few parties at a funky NYC loft.  In 2005,  Cooking Lounge was developed and shoot as a television pilot.  2006, Cooking Lounge pilot started making the rounds, in the meantime...


COOK.  LOUNGE.  PARTY.


Food:

Roasted Chicken is a staple on many a table, in many cultures.  A golden brown slightly crisp yet moist bird is the ultimate in simple, fine food.


Roasting a chicken or two served with a few side dishes, some good bread and wine makes for a homey dinner party.  If vegetarians are part of the crew, just make larger sides and add some cheese to the menu.  Side suggestions a little later.


Guide to Cooking a Golden Brown Roasted Chicken.
3.5lb - 5lb chicken.  Choose to fit your budget and taste from Perdue to Free Range to Organic.


Soak chicken in cold water with a 2 tablespoons of kosher or sea salt for at least 1 hour.  Place covered in refrigerator.  While the chicken is soaking, preheat oven to 375.  Also, this is a good time to prep vegetables, etc for later.


Drain, rinse and pat dry.  Massage the entire bird with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.  For seasoning, do a dry rub that you can sprinkle on by the way.  A dry rub is just a mix of herbs and spices; be creative, experiment.


CL mix - coarse ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, curry (for extra flavor and color) and a little salt.  Coat the chicken with your dry rub mix.  Put some of the mix in the cavity of the bird and maybe even throw a peeled and quartered onion and/or a few peeled garlic cloves for added flavor and aroma.


Line a pan with foil for easy clean-up. Put in a roasting rack if you have one because it helps the heat circulate around the roasting chicken.


Place the chicken in the preheated oven.  For the first 15 minutes turn up the heat to 400.  Then reduce to 375.  Cook for approximately 20 minutes per pound.  Baste chicken with the drippings a couple of times during last 15 minutes.  When juices run clear and a drumstick moves with ease, you are done.  And, the surefire method is to use a meat thermometer.


Sides Suggestions - Brown Rice, Mixed Greens Salad, Sauteed Yellow Zucchini with Red Peppers and wholegrain artisanal bread.


Music:











Downloaded the new, yet-to-be released Gnarls Barkley, "The Odd Couple" when it was leaked to the web earlier this week.



The first track, "A Little Better" is a soulful confessional with a steady percussion beat and kicking bass licks.  The sound of the film reel spooling out at the end is a tres cool touch.  "Charity Case" is a bouncy fun and playful song that made me think of Sixties Pop with an electronic twist.  "Open Book" was too 'janglely' and rough edged for me and on the aural conceptual side of things.   "Run" was a flat-out homage to the Sixties/Psychedelia as is much of "The Odd Couple."   Not going to go through every cut on the release which are all about 3 minutes (part of the concept?).  Liked overall.  "The Odd Couple" is good music for the early part of a dinner party - folks arriving, having a drink or two, unwinding, chatting and generally settling in.  It's something new and different for your guests.


Style:



Plant herbs in the upcoming weeks.   It's not that difficult to grow with a little care.  Make sure they have the right light; and, water the herbs regularly.  


Not sure?  Look-up care instructions on the web.  Click here for link to get you started.  Even better talk to the folks at your local garden center.


Grow the herbs close to the kitchen so you can add a few sprigs of freshness to a favorite dish. Plus you save money and add a little natural beauty to your environment (so buy a decent planter).   There's a Home Depot everywhere. But whenever possible be sure to support small, local businesses!








                                                                         photos: wbj
Thanks for checking out Cooking Lounge.

Back soon with another post.
Willis

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Cool blog.

Will check back for more.

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