A few days ago an article on the Smithsonian Magazine got me thinking about the domestication of chickens and how often we take this docile birds for granted when we really ought to place them on a high pedestal since they’ve fueled an alimentary empire.
Although chicken was widely eaten in ancient Greece, there’s evidence that shows traces of its domestication in China circa 5400 BC -but- other sources claim it happened around 8000 BC, be as it may chicken turns out to be the very first domesticated bird ever.
We can find references to both hens and cocks in many religious rituals -in may of them like the Jewish Kaparot the poor birds don’t live to tell it.
Here in Britain a domestic ritual celebrating togetherness and meat as an everlasting symbol of triumph over life’s vicissitudesis is: the Roast. Cooked in one of the most ancient ways by roasting and garnishing with simple vegetables.
Roasts are typically made with lamb, beef or chicken.
We know I’m neither British nor I eat meat but that won’t prevent me from learning and honouring the culinary traditions from this nation that generously welcomes me back in every time I commute from across the Atlantic.
Simple, beautiful, luscious and humble the chicken roast can produce the same magical effect of letting those who eat it glowing with joy.
To make this roast for two you will need:
- 2 fleshy chicken thighs
- 1 whole Spanish onion sliced in chunky portions
- 3 big carrots. Peeled and chopped in four pieces
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped four pieces
- 1 tbsp of coarse salt mixed with: dehydrated parsley, celery, garlic and sage
- 1 tbsp of honey
- A bunch of fresh thyme
Preheat the oven at 180C 15 minutes in advance.
In a roasting dish place the onions, carrots and potatoes, on this bed place the thighs. Rub the salt and herbs on the chicken and sprinkle the rest around them.
Scatter the thyme stems evenly so they infuse both vegetables and meat alike. Pop in the oven and cover with either thin foil or a lid.
Reduce the heat to 150C and cook for 50 minutes.
Take out, turn the thighs and cook for another 20 minutes.
20 minutes before serving, uncover, turn the thighs again and let the skin bronze.
You can make a gravy of course but simply drizzling the clear infused juices over the thighs and vegetables is good enough.
This time I opted out for serving it with a warm salad of boiled wheat, barley and quinoa with iceberg lettuce garnished with olive oil, plum chutney. and strong cheddar flakes.
That was one of my takes, now you go make some happy memories happen.