How in the Hell Do You Cook a Chicken?

2293129472_db1580bc34My greatest expense is food, and in the past, the money I spent on food was predominantly spent in restaurants. In an effort to reduce this expense, as well as my waistline, I’ve started making the majority of my meals at home.I say “make” as most of my meals require little to no cooking:Vegetarian Cobb Salad; Tomato, Avocado, and Mozzarella Salad; Eggplant Parmesan; Sautéed Chicken with Peppers; and Meatloaf.However, last week I decided to expand my blue-plate special repertoire, so I took a cooking class with Rebecca Goldfarb, the owner of The Social Table.

Each class at The Social Table has a specific theme, hosts eight people, and costs $65 per person for appetizers and a 3-course meal. Wine is BYOB, giving you the option of grabbing a bottle from home, picking up a bottle or two of Trader Joe’s Two-Buck Chuck, or stopping by your local wine store for one of Frugaltopia’s recommended Vino Cheapos. It may be a cooking class, but the wine is important, as you spend much of the class eating, drinking, and chatting with your classmates and Rebecca.Although not inexpensive, this cooking class is a great way to celebrate a birthday with friends, learn some new cooking tips and tricks (I can now expertly crack eggs and separate the yolks and whites), and meet some new people who appreciate food as much as you (or I) do.

The dinner theme for my class was “An Italian Dinner Party” with a menu of:Fried Spicy Eggplant, Roman Style Polenta, Pollo alla Diavolo, and Fresh Berry Crostada. The recipes are simple and require only 5 to 6 ingredients. Many of the ingredients are used in at least two recipes, and most ingredients like olive oil, bread crumbs, and red pepper flakes, you’ll likely have in your cupboard already.

All the dishes were delicious, but my favorite recipe was the Pollo alla Diavolo, the Devil’s Chicken. Besides the satisfaction of learning to cook a whole chicken (as to date I had only cooked pre-cut chicken breasts), the dish proves to be cost-effective (since there are few ingredients and a whole chicken is cheaper than pre-cut breasts and parts), easy to cook, and healthy.

Pollo alla Diavolo
Serves 4
from Rebecca Goldfarb of The Social Table

1 medium Chicken, 2 ½ to 3lbs.
1 cup Olive Oil
1 Lemon juiced
3 Garlic Cloves crushed
1 tsp Chili Flakes
Salt and Pepper

Wash the chicken well. Place chicken breast side down and remove backbone and wishbone at the bottom of the bird with kitchen scissors. (Those scissors in your knife set are for these types of tasks, not for cutting fresh flowers, which is what I usually do with them.) Turn the chicken over and, using the heal of your hand, press down on the breastbone to flatten (warning: you’ll probably hear a crack when you do this).

Mix the olive oil with the lemon, garlic and chili flakes. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and then place it in a shallow dish and toss with olive oil mixture. Turn to coat evenly and let sit a minimum of 30 minutes.

Broil chicken, starting bone side down for 20 minutes. Turn over and lower the heat, and then cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes until the meat registers an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Baste with the marinade from time to time and serve with lemon wedges.

This chicken goes well with any side dishes – polenta, potatoes, sautéed spinach, broccoli rabe, anything.

Buon appetito!

One Comment

  1. GarykPatton says:

    I think I will try to recommend this post to my friends and family, cuz it’s really helpful.

Comments are now closed for this article.

Powered by WordPress | Deadline Theme : An AWESEM design