Absolutely, Positively NSFW

In my wave of affection for the January issue and its many delights, I decided to stand up to my nagging fear of cooking whole birds, vowing to tackle one of the roasted chickens (“The New Roast Chicken,” by Celia Barbour, page 90). Across a beautiful multi-page spread, several unlucky birds lie around, naked and bound, among a scattering of potatoes, garlic, and onions.

But, of course, one particular chicken stood out as completely ludicrous-looking, and, as an ordinary life is a horrifying one, I selected it.

Yes, my beer-loving friends! That’s a chicken who’s roasted outsides heat up an open can of Guinness inside, resulting in some sort of tender, juicy meal that’s been infused with stout. It also looks exactly like a chicken getting caught in flagrante.

Believe it or not, it gets worse than this.

AUGH!

Let’s get back to the word “horrifying” for just a sec. While it was easy enough to shove a 2/3-full can of Guinness up a chicken and stand the humiliated creature upright before sliding it into the oven, the process involved when taking the can OUT of the chicken is nothing short of nightmarish.

I didn’t capture this moment with a photo, partly because my hands were covered in the special kind of beery goop that oozes out when you deliver a Guinness baby from an unwilling chicken mother, and partly because I care about all of you and want you to sleep well tonight. I did describe it in detail to poor Lesley, who I’m not sure will ever fully recover.

The result was delicious, of course, especially when topped with the fig-jam pan sauce and served with a tangerine and feta salad from the December issue. Our brother, David, in a jealous rage* over our other brother’s Marthabro submission, deemed himself** “Marthabulous” and helped me carve the chicken. Because I don’t know how to do that kind of thing.

Toile apron made by Ritsuko of the Marthabro team!! Best Christmas gift ever!

Here’s how to do it on your own:

Beer-Can Roasted Chicken with Fig-Jam Pan Sauce

Ingredients:

1 4.5 lb whole chicken
2 T unsalted butter, softened
Coarse salt
1 can Guinness
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1/4 c. water
1 T all-purpose flour
2 T fig jam

1. Preheat oven to 450. Get rid of one rack, put the other in lowest position. Trust me. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, rub it with butter and season with salt. Pour 1/2 c. stout from can and reserve it in a bowl or something. Poke holes in top of can using whatever the hell you can find (I made my husband do it, as I was at a loss). Put the thyme in the can and place the can in a large oven-proof skillet. Here it comes….”place chicken over can,” says Martha, but what you’re really doing is shoving the can upwards into the chicken so that the legs are on either side, “balancing legs to keep it standing like a tripod.”

2. Barf.

3. CAREFULLY put the chicken into the oven, breast side first. Roast for 20 min, then baste with pan juices, which will be difficult to do without burning yourself. Roast some more, basting twice, until juices run clear and instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh reads 155 (about 25 min more).

4. Remove skillet from oven, again very carefully. Martha suggests having an oven-mitted hand at the ready to “steady the [swooning] chicken,” but I didn’t need it. Let chicken rest until that thermometer reads 165 (about 10 min). Then “remove the can.”

5. Email me so we can discuss how hilarious this part is.

6. Discard can, pour pan juices into a cup, skim fat. Return juices to skillet over medium-high. Pour in reserved stout, bring to a simmer, scrape up brown bits. Mix water and flour together, then whisk into skillet. Boil for 1 min, then whisk in jam. Simmer until thick, about 2 min. Serve chicken with sauce.

*Conjecture.

**Uh, in that we deemed him that without his permission.

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9 comments

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Absolutely, Positively NSFW « Marthable -- Topsy.com
  2. Alicia · January 8, 2011

    How am I the first person to comment on that fat naked man crouched over a Guinness toilet. best photo ever.

  3. Mom · January 9, 2011

    First, that first photo of the chicken on the can reminds me of Auguste Rodin’s “Thinker”.
    Second, can you possibly imagine what he would be thinking about, skewered as it were, by a can of Guiness? The mind boggles…
    The Irish would be proud.

    • Marthabro · January 10, 2011

      The answer to Mom’s second question is “OW”.

      Good article. Nice plaid shirt.

  4. Lesley · January 11, 2011

    Our Mom’s Comments book deal!

  5. Susan · January 11, 2011

    Skewered, As It Were: A Charming Collection of Motherly Wisdom, by Barbara Howson. I’ll get talking to publishers.

    Guys, I propose a new version of Rick-rolling. Sending people that chicken picture under a false URL! Let’s make it viral, folks!

    • Lesley · January 11, 2011

      It’ll be the new Rat-king! I think I’m going to be sick.

  6. Catherine · January 19, 2011

    Wow, that chicken looked amazing…even though it had to go
    through some humiliation to get there!

  7. getsheila · January 23, 2011

    Those chicken photos are so, so wrong. LOL!

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