Friday, November 19, 2010

French Fridays with Dorie - roast chicken for les paresseux

It's Friday...yippee!  That means it's time to share another French Fridays with Dorie adventure with all of you.  Since we are still in November, that means we still get to choose which of the four recipes to make.  I've already made the caramel-topped semolina cake and the pumpkin-gorgonzola flans and had the roast chicken and the pommes dauphinois still to choose from.  Since Thanksgiving is coming up, I decided I'd better make these two together, just in case I run out of time (or energy) near the end of the month.  Today I'll share my roast chicken experience and next Friday I'll share the pommes dauphinois.

Since I started doing the FFwD blog posts, I've been exposed to all sorts of wonderful blogs about cooking, food and eating.  Some really talented folks are sharing their creations with us (you can see them here).  After looking at many, many food blogs...I realized that my photos are just not up to par.  For one main reason...lighting!  I know not to shoot with my direct flash, so I'm trying to use ambient light.  The problem with that is I'm often shooting the final product after the sun has gone down.  So my ambient light consists of my overhead kitchen lights.  Just not as nice as sunlight.  I'd just like to say that I realize my photos aren't that great yet...and I'm working on it.  Soon, my photos will look as good as my food tastes (oh yes, don't be fooled...my food does taste great!  I'm not being immodest...since I'm just following a recipe...I'm not really giving myself that much credit...pick a great recipe...end up with great food!)

I've told you this long sob story about my pictures because this week and next week I don't have any process photos.  I was setting up to take a series of process photos in my living room (where the natural light was fabulous), when company arrived (you know who you are)!  So, I had to stop taking photos and just get on with the cooking.  The lesson I learned is if I'm cooking a FFwD recipe to blog about it, I shouldn't cook it when company's coming (unless it can be made in the morning).  Because I can not cook, take good photos, and entertain company all at the same time.  Ha!

What I can do is cook very tasty food and have a good time with my friends and family.  The roast chicken for les paresseux (lazy people) is hands down the best damn chicken I've ever eaten.  Hands down!  And I think I know the trick that made it so darn good.  Following Dorie's instructions, I flipped the bird over, after it was done, and let it set while I finished cooking the rest of dinner.  The slice of breast meat that I got was succulent.  It was so tender and juicy and tasted like pure essence of chicken.  It was like I had used the sous-vide method to cook it!  I fell in love with this chicken.  Even St. James said "you know, we eat a lot of chicken, so I'm not so crazy about chicken, but this was a good chicken!"  I count that as high praise.  If you want the recipe (and trust me, you want this recipe), you can find it in Dorie's book.

Chickie for lazy people, half way done

Chickie for lazy people, all the way done

Also, did I mention that I had 11 folks for dinner and only cooked one chicken because my lower oven stopped working and I could only fit one chickie in my upper oven.  So, I grilled bone-in chicken breasts on the grill also, to fill in.  When I passed the roast chicken around, I told folks they could all take a little bit, so everyone could try it.  I felt like a terrible hostess...but no one seemed to mind.

I bet many of you are wondering about the bread trick.  Well, I hate to mention it, because I did not share it with my guests.  I put 4 slices of baguette under the chicken and what came out was so close to heaven that I gobbled it all up myself (without the chicken liver...because I'm just not much of a chicken liver kind of girl).  I did take a photo of it, but I'm not sure it does it justice (plus, it's not in focus...bummer).  It was crispy and full of chicken flavor (I did let St. James have one bite and said it was good, but that it was just like eating chicken skin...which I absolutely adore, so no wonder I liked it so much).  For my guests who are reading this, sorry I didn't share.  It's clear I don't really love you enough, and for that I'm sorry.  For eating all the chicken bread myself...I'm not so sorry.


26 comments:

Flourchild said...

Im glad this was the best chicken you have ever eaten! I loved it too!

I made the flan this week.

chocolatechic said...

Your chicken looks great.

Have you considered editing your pictures in picnik? It is a free online editing thing...has almost everything that photoshop has.

Steph said...

Thanks Chocolatechic...I've been using picassa but don't really know how to use it. I'll take a look at picnik. Appreciate the recommendation!

Jessica of My Baking Heart said...

I loved this one, too... so easy, I can't wait to make it again! :)

Cher said...

I understand about the obsession with the pics - I never feel like I can do the food justice. I love that you are still perservering on that front. This was a great chicken, though, wasn't it!

Rebecca said...

I loved this recipe. I agree, it's hard to take pics of. Mine looked like a dog's breakfast. But it tasted phenomenal!

Tia said...

wow, that looks delicious! great job :)

Kathy said...

You did a great job with the Chicken. I think your picture with the veggies (all the way done) is great and I always enjoy your blog.

gaaarp said...

Great job! Your chicken looks great. I'm with you -- forget the guests and eat the bread yourself. I ate mine with the liver and it was amazing!

Frolicking Night Owl said...

I think my family is tired of the camera going off at the dinner table. :) It comes with the territory, I guess. :)

aplatefulofhappiness said...

I sure did love this chicken. And that the bread, oo-la-la!
I face the same challenge with pictures. I'm usually cooking when the sun isn't out. And my kitchen lighting casts weird shadows, with or without the flash.

scrambledhenfruit said...

Lovely chicken! I enjoyed the chicken as well when I made it last week, but the bread not so much. I'd definitely make this one again!

Elaine said...

We think it's the best chicken we've ever had in my house as well. Your chicken looks fabulous and I am sure your company enjoyed even the little taste that they had. Great job!

KY said...

Your chicken looks great! I think we have the same pot too. :)

Sis. Boom. said...

I think your photos look great but I too only cook at night and I have the WORST yellow ambient light to shoot with. My suggestion is to get a tripod and turn off the flash. You will get nice, crisp photos that way. I taught myself a bit about "white balance" to help adjust for the light color. Check your manual for that. Even small point and shoots have settings that will work well if you use a tripod.
Trevor Sis. boom.

Steph said...

Thanks for the nice comments and thanks for the advice Trevor Sis. boom. I did just start using my tripod on some pics...not these because of the company being there and I felt weird shooting pics of their dinner on the tripod in front of them! I'll check out white balance too. thanks!!

Renee said...

I cannot wait to try this next week! I know it seems silly to make chicken like this days before the big turkey, but that's just how my life unfolded this month.

Allison said...

Ohh your bread looks amazing! Je suis tres jaloux! I guess I'll just have to try again. :)

Steph said...

Ha ha! I didn't share my bread either! That's a secret that does not need to be shared :) Great job!

Kathleen said...

Love your chicken!!!

onewetfoot said...

I loved the bread, too. Your chicken looked beautiful!

I relate to your photography frustrations. I'm planning on taking a digital photography course in the new year. (Can't believe it's time to start talking about the new year.)

Ann (napangel) said...

Way to keep that bread to yourself!

♥Sugar♥Plum♥Fairy♥ said...

Ha ha, i love how u analyze my pics , i usually cook at night too but have now begun cooking in the morning , even if have to get up early , its a bit easier for me coz have joined college as distant learner so have jus around 3times a week of catching up to do and study at nights:-)
One thing that can really help is if u have a nice ,white reading lamp and u replace the bulbs with the energy saver white lites,ie white daylight, place a white kitchen towel below the dish , and focus the lite on the subject and click away:-)
THough i do have to agree that with these pics i can see how delicious that chicken is!
Oh that bread....lol.....delish!!

Lana said...

I think that a lot of us can relate to your woes about photos. It's dark when the food is finished (especially now with the daylight savings time), and the only lights are the ugly kitchen lights (I have a mix of fluorescent and tungsten, yuck!)

But your photos look good considering the lighting.

I chuckled when I read how you smuggled the bread away from your guests! There would not be enough for everybody anyway:)

luciacara said...

Bummer about your oven :(. I made this, too, & it was so easy & good - I used a very large slice of bread so there was just enough for m& my husband :).

I took my Potato Gratin picture the next morning because my photos the night before were terrible! You are right...way too dark.

Amera said...

Looks great! I want to make mine again but with some veggies thrown in. I also take most of my pictures after the sun goes down (since that's about 4:30 in the Midwest in winter!) - I try to use the photo editor to bring up the lights a little more. Maybe I should just keep them low quality so that I "need" to buy a bigger camera lol!