Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Try It, Ya Chickens

We had a super-fresh, free-range chicken to roast. So fresh and free-range, the head and feet were still on.
Boy, a couple whacks with a cleaver. Such primitive, physical satisfaction. Everybody should have a cleaver for times like that.
Then, suddenly, I got all mesmerized by Marmite, that jar of brown yeast goo that people either love or hate. I was stuck on toast, but darn it, I needed to eat that chicken.
We had done the proper presalting of the bird, and a quick check in Joy of Cooking confirmed the best oven temperature, time and thigh temperature.
Oh, by the way, Joy added alluringly... rub the skin with butter. M'kay?
Suddenly we knew just what to do. Cranky melted a little butter in a pan, and stirred in the perfect proportion of Marmite. How did he know what the perfect proportion should be? Heck, he's been making Marmite toast and butter for two days now; he's an expert already.
So I slathered that liquid gold all over the chicken skin, with my bare hands (mmm, moan, sigh...). And popped her into the oven for about an hour.
We couldn't resist peeking in there every so often, to see what our experiment might yield. It was looking pretty good: crisp and fragrant and brown.
And what did it taste like? Crisp and fragrant and brown chicken. It tasted like really good roasted chicken, but a little... browner.
I'd wager that I could serve this chicken to a Marmite-averse person and get away with it. No, I'd wager that the Marmite-averse person would be begging me for my recipe.

24 comments:

Dagny said...

Lovely chicken. I'm still not sure about the marmite though.

Oh, and speaking of fresh, when I go to Mexico, one of my mom's friends raises chickens for sale. She kills a few off each morning and then sets up her stand to sell the birds. No heads though. Feet are optional.

Catherine said...

We had the same chicken last night (minus the Marmite, naturally). I admit that cutting off the feet grosses me out way more than the head. I think it's the scratchy fingernails.

kudzu said...

So you d-i-d know about that Marmite site? Loved it.....I must say I would rather eat Marmite than cut off a chicken's head. Too many vivid memories of chicken-killin' in my grandmothers' hen yards....Just be glad you didn't have to deal with the plucking and pin feathers (you know-- when you singe them)...Yes, I know what poultry butchery is and that's why I don't mind buying it all done for me!

dancingmorganmouse said...

Hmmm, I wonder if this would work with Australian ambrosia, also known as vegemite. That marmite stuff is for wimps :)

Monkey Wrangler said...

Serve this with fresh wedges of Brandywines later this summer please. I'll bring the smoked salmon and bread. Deal?

WokandSpoon said...

Oooo - you did it! Marmite roasted chicken!

ChrisB said...

Sounds wonderful - you can put that on the menu for me any day!

Jessica Schessler said...

I've no idea what marmite is, but that chicken looks delicious :)

Stacie said...

I liked the vegemite I've tasted, is it similar? Anything yeasty is a friend of mine. And I always liked Men at Work...

s'kat said...

I've never had marmite, but you could certainly convince me to try it with that lovely roasted chicken!

ps: this is for you- http://www.flickr.com/photos/s-kat/562048898/

Kevin said...

Brilliant!

cookiecrumb said...

Dagny: It is a lovely chicken, from Marin Sun Farms if you happen to run across one. (I can't meet you in Pt. Reyes for the opening of their market, darn it.)

Catherine: What are we supposed to do with the head? Does it go in the stock pot? And yes, those feet are really strange, with the little pink pads underneath.

Kudzu: I learned about the Marmite site from the e-card you sent me! (xo)
Yup, I would not want to pluck a bird.

DMM: Ha ha. I'm sure it would work with Vegemite. You tough dame, you.

Monkey Wrangler: That sounds like a repast. I'll keep an eye on the tomato progress and let you know!

WokandSpoon: Thanks for your faith in me. :D

ChrisB: It's pretty easy...!

Jessica: If you want to know what Marmite is, Google it or click on the "love or hate" link in my post. Yeah, it was a beauty.

Stacie: Hey, you speak-a my language! Yes, they're similar. Vegemite is thicker and stronger.

S'Kat: I'm out to convert the unconvinced.
(Thanks for the link.)

Kevin: Wow, coming from you, quite a compliment. Thanks.

Monkey Gland said...

Don't go believing that vegemite nonsense! Splitters!

cookiecrumb said...

War's on.

Passionate Eater said...

I think you've already incorporated this syrupy jar of dark stuff into your life, and you ain't goin' back! The chicken looks fantastic.

Sam said...

War is over. John Lennon sent me a message from heaven that said Marmite won the battle.

cookiecrumb said...

PE: Yeah, it is syrupy. I wonder if that's why it strikes me as sweet. It's killer! Yah.

Sam: Did he blow a white feather across the room?

katiez said...

Marmite chicken.... I have to pass this one along to all of my marmite-loving friends!
The caliber of 'English' foods in a shop on the continent is rated as to how much marmite they stock....

cookiecrumb said...

Katie: Oh, now I have a new metric for judging English foods stores. (I haven't even investigated yet to see if I can buy the regular kind here... I think so.)

Sam said...

even in Safeway.
not that I go to safeway of course.

Sandi @ the WhistleStop Cafe said...

No Friggin Way!
I posted on Maramite Chicken as well.
Coincidence?
I am thinking John Lennon may have had something to do with this after all.

cookiecrumb said...

Sam: OK, then, I'm safe(way). Heh.

cookiecrumb said...

Sandi: No friggin' way! I'm so glad you dropped by so I could learn about yours. I'll be right over!

cookiecrumb said...

OK, I'm back. People, this is the real Whistlestop Cafe, the one used as the setting in Fried Green Tomatoes (the movie and novel).
By a fantastic coincidence, Sandi blogged about Chicken with Marmite THE DAY AFTER I DID. (That's not to imply she didn't do her cooking earlier!)
Go see.