Ladies and gentleman, I am ready to get married.
What brought on this revelation, you ask? Why, I successfully cut up a raw chicken this week. (Guided by this video.) If you’re wondering why this means I am ready to be someone’s wife, you’re probably not alone. It makes perfect sense to me, though. If I am going to grow old with someone, I am going to want to make him dinner. And not just any dinner, but dinner that says “I’ll take care of you.”
Even though I think most home-cooked food does this, roast chicken is one of the clearest ways to say “you can lean on me”. Dependable, comfortable, delicious. A whole chicken can be cumbersome, though, and too much for two people. Hence, the cutting. A bit of work, and you’ve got two legs, two thighs, two breasts and two wings. Plus a chicken back to make stock. Love, yes?
Actually, raw chicken might not be the whole story. I would say a really excellent dowry includes a reliable way to make scrumptious cooked chicken. A golden roast with crispy skin, perhaps, or fall-of-the bone tender coq-au-vin. A hot ‘n tasty curry, maybe, or succulent saté. This week, I tested out roast chicken with Dijon sauce for dowry potential (recipe courtesy of the imminently marriageable- and married- Deb of SmittenKitchen, but adapted to work around my lack of white wine and tasty chicken stock).
After the successful cutting up of the bird, I crisped some of the pieces in a hot skillet, then put them in a hot oven in the same pan to finish cooking. When they were done, I took them out of the pan and added about half a cup of red wine and two thinly sliced shallots to it. Then a half cup of water and some scraping of the bottom of the pan (to get the tasty brown bits involved) before reducing the liquid by about half. A generous tablespoon of crème fraiche and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard finished what turned out to be a tasty concoction. Tasty, but not delicious enough to entice anyone to become my husband.
Good thing my man already asked me.