What’s Cookin’? “Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch…”

it's what's for dinner (1) (Custom)Fun Fact: I am not at all a fan of ranch dressing, but for some reason people keep giving me bottles of the stuff. I somehow ended up with six unopened bottles over the space of two months this year thanks to friends buying it for parties and almost no one touching it. At least it was organic ranch dressing of a certain brand that seemed to not have a ton of terrible stuff inside those bottles.

That said, what does one DO with all those bottles of something one doesn’t consume? I thought of putting them in a box and placing said box downstairs by the mailbox with the word FREE! written on it. That’s always good for some amusement. Not too long ago another neighbor in the building left out a box of assorted books and DVD’s and there were a few people circling that box like wary stray dogs surprised by someone putting out free food before they jumped in and took most of the good stuff. The only things left were a Jean Claude Van Damme flick I’d never heard about, some sticker books (Ed Hopper and Talouse-Latrec), and a couple of comedy books I nabbed after the dust settled.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, right:

(thanks, prestoff2000!) 

Well, that FREE box of dressing was the plan until my brain sifted in “free range” with “free ranch” and I thought of doing something with chicken and some or all of that ranch dressing. “Like what?” you ask? Well, I may have taken a whole roasting chicken that I’d had in in a simple salt water brine for about 12 hours (because I’m crazy like that), drained that chicken, placed it in a gallon-size zip-top bag, added a bit of salt-free rub and poured about a cup of that dressing into that bag before sealing the bag and letting it sit for a few more hours in the fridge. Once that part was done, I may have peeled and sliced a few potatoes and placed them in the bottom of a glass baking dish on top of some foil, placed that ranchy chicken upside down atop those potatoes and popped that dish into a preheated 375 degree oven until I needed to flip the bird over and let it get nice and done.

Yeah, they call me the wrecking ball (er, in the kitchen, at least)…

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I could have also sauteed some broccoli with sliced garlic and onions with a bit of red pepper flake in some olive oil and other stuff and served all that with plain ol’ white rice on the side because it takes the least time to make and my rice cooker is old but still works perfectly. Or maybe I didn’t because while that chicken turned out really tasty, I still don’t like ranch dressing. Well, on my salads at least. Oh, and I think some of those potatoes got diced into smaller bits and used in something eggy the next day. But that’s another tale for another time.

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#TBT: Taking The Chicken Route For A Bit

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Hmmm. So, here’s a random nonsense post courtesy of the Emergency Postcast System. If you’re reading this it’s because it’s a nonsense post experiment running in case of emergency. Now, what constitutes an “emergency” will vary from person to person, but let’s just say that I’m taking some much needed time off to handle things and that’s that. I have a few posts in reserve that will run (well, once I set some dates up) and will check back in to drop in stuff when I can. I hate the way the internet works these days because it’s expected that nosy people need to know too much and anything less than that is considered “not sharing”, “rude” or whatever. Nonsense. Anyway, dinner’s ready! Come and get it before that cannibal chicken has her fill.

Back in a bit. I’ll be around… just not “around” if you catch my drift. If you don’t, don’t worry. All won’t be explained when things get back to resembling “normal” around here. And that’s exactly as it needs to be.

Today’s Mystery: The Case of the One-Winged Chicken

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One more reason to cut certain foods out of the diet, I suppose. But also a big little mystery that needs solving, so I’m (kind of) on the case. I defrosted a whole Purdue chicken and put it in a simple salt water brine overnight. As I tend to handle raw proteins as little as possible, I didn’t realize until this morning that the chicken ended up in the store sans one wing. Eek. From what I recall, chickens don’t fly very well at all, so this couldn’t be the result of the one I was about to cook being gimped because it wanted to go all Freebird from wherever it was raised.

“It’s a factory second!” was a guess tossed into the hat I wasn’t wearing. But that wasn’t the case, as it was a full price chicken with a clipped wing and someone out there walking around with it in a pocket as a good luck charm. Or something a lot less disgusting. Speaking of disgusting, as soon as I saw that missing wing, I had a serious Eraserhead flashback. You know the scene: “Just cut them up like regular chickens!”:


Yuck. Anyway, a coin was flipped and it was decided to not waste a good and already brine-soaked bird. So a bit of Madras Soul (TM!) spice blend and a good shake in a plastic bag later, into the oven it went. As it’s meant to be split with a friend going through some bumpy times of late, I decided to keep the wingless half for myself. There’s nothing like having to answer questions about what happened to that missing flapper on a gift half chicken. Some questions weren’t made to be answered without a legal team handy. Or at least the Scooby Gang. Anyway, it’s a sunny Sunday and too nice outside to dwell on a dead (now twice dead) piece of poultry. That said, guess who will be pickin’ chickens a lot more carefully from now on. Or a lot less carefully because I’ll have changed my dining options.

Then again, having tried faux poultry on a few occasions, I can very safely say that every one has had missing wings, legs, thighs and bones. That’s not a mystery at all other than why some of those ersatz birds sometimes end up in assorted poultry shapes. Then again, if it were a tofu bird with a missing wing? Well… THAT would be even more creepy.