Crossing “World Famous Food Writer” off the list and my Insouciant Chicken recipe

by admin on January 14, 2010

Ever on the lookout for ways to make a living as a writer, I’ve been exploring the food writing niche. And after some diligent research, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’ll be close to impossible to make any dough at it.  There are already a million would-be M.F.K. Fisher’s out there on Chowhound, Zagat, Gayot, Yelp, etc. etc. etc. all working for free. I did find an online posting for a paying job writing original recipes that feature beer but it only pays 5 bucks a pop with a five recipe limit.  Puh-leeze.

MFK Fisher - awfully skinny for a food writer

And even if I could land a plum job writing for a “real” media outlet, I’d have to cultivate that bizarre foodie wordplay favored by writers like Irene Virbila of the Los Angeles Times.
In a recent review about the pretty delish downtown bistro Church and State, Irene described the escargot as “witty.”  Well, I don’t know about you but I don’t necessarily want my snails to be amusing or clever nor do they need to hold their own at the Algonquin roundtable.  

I’d also have to use a lot of nouns turned into verbs like “blanketed,”  “perfumed” and “sauced.”  Oy vey .

But all that research did get me kinda hungry and it was close to dinner time,  so I went into the kitchen and made something cheap, fast and good.  And because we’re all looking for stuff that’s cheap, fast and good — I’ll share it with you right now.  This is a particularly great main dish for highly un-motivated  — dare I say insouciant — cooks who want to appear motivated.  It is utterly scrumptious.

Susan’s Insouciant Chicken Recipe

Love on a plate Click to enlarge.

You’ll need:

A whole chicken

1 cup of fresh herbs

3-4 lemons, thickly sliced

cheap white wine

herbs or spices from your pantry and some salt

Preheat oven to 450.  Take the yucky stuff out of the chicken and throw it away.  Please.  Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water, pat dry and place it in a shallow pan on a rack.  If you don’t have a rack, use the broiler thing from your toaster oven.  If you don’t have that or  anything else that will work, just stick the chicken in the pan and don’t worry about it.

Lemons & rosemary in my front yard

Stuff the chicken with the fresh herbs and as many thickly sliced lemons as will fit — really squish them in there — juice running out the neck is good.  I use rosemary and Meyer lemons because they’re growing in my yard.  Thyme or sage is great too.  Use what’s fast, cheap, and good.  Rub the outside of the chicken with herbs or spices that you like.  I usually use poultry seasoning, paprika, and salt.  Pour cheap wine into the pan until it almost touches the bottom of the chicken — about half a bottle.  This is the perfect use for 2-buck Chuck white which is pretty undrinkable otherwise.

Stick the chicken in the very hot oven for 10 minutes.  Turn the heat down to 325 and continue roasting until it’s done — usually about an hour and a half.  Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before you carve it.  Spoon drippings over each portion.  EAT!  Especially great if, like me,  you’re living La Vida Lo-carb.

Vegetarians don’t despair — my  new favorite go-to recipe for “meatless Mondays” is coming soon to a blog near you.

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