Monday, February 20, 2006

Power Chicken

There are days when I think and think and still can't come up with any good dinner ideas. Those are the days when I make chicken.

Yes, chicken is something of a dark horse in our house -- and like any respectable dark horse it sometimes wins the race. Margy spent Presidents' Day at a bridal shower (it's shower month, I guess), and so I was alone with my empty dinner thoughts. I had plenty of accoutrements lying around, but no main dish. So I just went to the store, where epiphanies are known to happen. Sitting in the refrigerator case, the organic legs looked fantastic -- eureka!

Once I got home I worked without thinking much (clearly I'd wasted the day's thought allotment on not knowing what to make for dinner). I set the oven on 425. I cut up an onion, mixed it with olive oil and salt and pepper, and threw it on a baking sheet with a rack. I massaged oil into the chicken pieces like a poultry masseuse, sprinkled some salt, and improvised a quick dry rub to get a bit more flavor (chipotle pepper, Szechwan pepper, a dash of cumin and coriander). Before I knew it the chicken was atop the onions in the oven and I was making bulgur. I basted the bird(s) with a little bit of broth and water from time to time, and in 45 minutes we were having dinner. Margy, a little dried out a few hours after sipping those shower mimosas, sprang right back to life.

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