This has been the summer of racking up airline miles – New York City, Chicago, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, New York City, Buffalo and New York City again tomorrow to speak at BlogHer conference. Last week’s trip to Buffalo was spent visiting Scott’s mom, “Mimi.”
It’s only been three months since Papa passed away, but time stretches out when you miss someone terribly. We’ve been trying to do as much as we can for Mimi, streamlining her finances, untangling the insurance bills and helping her with all the fix-it jobs, tech questions and stuff that Papa had always taken care of. It’s been a challenge, with us in Florida and Mimi living alone in Buffalo, NY. We’ve managed, with the help of video chat, email, Skype and good ol’ telephone.
They say that it’s always good for the widow to stay put and not make any big plans or travel for 6 months after the death of a spouse, Mimi has done really well creating a new routine for herself, continuing to work for the local quilt shop, lunches with her friends and outings with the neighbors.
The highlight of our visit was every morning, when the boys’ would sneak out of their bed and tip toe over to Mimi and snuggle on the couch with her.
I cooked in her kitchen, using the strong knives that she’s had for over 30 years, a roasting pan that’s probably older than me and a aged, solid walnut cutting board that Scott has used since he was a little boy.
In my own kitchen, I’m spoiled with shiny electronics, brand new tools, silicon spatulas. Despite having a cook’s treasure trove of kitchen gadgets, there’s something that my kitchen is missing. History. Mimi’s kitchen has history.
This is another miso recipe that I’ve developed for client Miso & Easy. You can use their ready-made miso or you can use regular miso paste found in your grocery store. I prefer shiro miso, which is a white miso, the most mild and least salty.
Easiest way to make foolproof roast chicken is to spatchcock it. The backbone is cut out of the whole chicken so that the chicken can lay flat while cooking. Thus cuts down the cooking time and helps the chicken roast evenly. Carving the chicken is much easier too, you can even carve it with a small knife.
Lay the chicken breast side down, so that the back is facing up.
The backbone runs along the center. Use sharp kitchen shears to cut about 3/4″ to the side of the backbone.
Cut all the way up.
And do the same on the other side.
Remove the backbone (save it for stock making)
So now you’re left with a backbone-less chicken. Flip the chicken over and you’ll see that it lays flat.
Marinate the chicken in a plastic bag overnight. If you’re in a hurry, no need to marinate – you can slather on the miso marinade and it can go straight in the oven.
Here are the ingredients you will need:
When ready to cook, lay the chicken flat in a roasting pan. Make sure that the legs are placed this way, so that all of the skin of the chicken is facing up.
Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, then cover with tin foil and cook for an additional 25 minutes.
If you’d like to GRILL the spatchcocked chicken – even better! Lay the chicken skin side down on a heated grill. See how it lays nice and flat on the grill?
Grill until the skin-side is nice and browned. Then flip to finish cooking.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
1. To spatchcock the chicken, place the chicken with the back facing you (the drumsticks should be facing up). Use sharp kitchen shears and cut 3/4" to each side of the backbone (center of the chicken) all the way up. Remove the backbone and save for stock. Lay the chicken flat, skin side up and press down on the breast with your palms to flatten the chicken.
2. Place the garlic, ginger, miso, cooking oil and mirin into a resealable bag. Add in the chicken and massage to coat the chicken all over with the miso marinade. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or overnight.
3. Heat the oven to 425F. Place the chicken, skin side up in roasting pan. Lay the chicken flat and arrange the legs so that the thighs are also facing up (all skin should be facing up - see photos) Roast for 20 minutes. Cover chicken loosely with tin foil. Continue roasting for additional 25-30 minutes or until interior of breast registers 165F. Remove from oven, let rest for 15 minutes.