When it is cold outside, I can't wait to turn on the oven. Of course, given the price of propane these days, I would rather make a salad, but that won't cut it with the family. Tonight on the menu was roast chicken. As the title would suggest, I don't cook a lot of fancy dishes. I do attempt occasionally, but the last time I tried I was disappointed. Not in the dish, as it turned out great. My husband was the one who ruined it. Our daughters were going to see the University of Minnesota marching band play. Our oldest had a conflict, so the hubby ran her up to the restaurant they were eating at before the show to catch up with the bus. So I thought I would make us a nice dinner. Individual Beef Wellingtons, potatoes, a salad and dessert. Yeah, he decided to eat with the kids. So I sat down in the candlelight and ate my portion all by myself and he came home in the middle of it. When he asked why I didn't tell him to come right home I nearly spit fire at him-"It was a surprise. Do you need a definition of a surprise?". He promptly left the dining area. The next day at church it was our service group's turn at bringing treats, and trust me-the whole crew knew how he messed up. Several gave me their numbers and said that the next time he messes up they would be glad to come over and share my meal. Take that, hubby!
So, I am digressing from the topic. I don't fix many fancy foods. I am not into duck or brie or eggplant or other types of fu-fu foods. I have to admit early on-a lot of the things I cook are made for my husband (who eats most anything) or is tried out on people we work with (we work at the same factory). I love to bake-I hate almost all pies except for pecan and some chocolate concoctions. I don't like many cakes-my favorite is yellow with chocolate frosting. Basic, plain, boring-like my vanilla self. I like only a handful of veggies. Spuds (but not potato salad), carrots (only raw), corn, lettuce (not on sandwiches, only in a bowl with dressing). I am probably one of the most picky eaters you will find. Wrapping up my childhood-I didn't have my first piece of pizza until I was about 12. I lived on mostly mashed potatoes, pot roast, chicken, Spaghettios, peanut butter, tuna fish, Fritos, cereal and milk. I was a very skinny child. But, alas, I grew up and my taste buds are changing. A little. I always tell people who ask how I can cook and bake so much but not eat it. Can you imagine how large I would be if I DID eat all I cooked. Not a pretty thought. It takes a lot to keep this nice, round figure! I'm in shape-round is a shape. So basic food is mainly cooked in this country kitchen.
1 roasting chicken, giblets and neck removed
1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced (I only had a clemantine)
Couple pats of butter
Glass of wine
Rinse and dry the chicken thoroughly. Sprinkle a little salt in the cavity. Place sliced lemon and orange in cavity and neck cavity. Use fingers to separate skin from meat. Slide butter pats under skin and squish around. Sprinkle top of chicken with Paprika. After washing hands, take a drink of wine. Place in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 1 and 1/2 hours. Check with an instant read thermometer for internal temp. It should be about 165 degrees. Let sit on counter, tented with foil, for about 15 minutes so all the juices redistribute.
Okay, you do not need to have a glass of wine while cooking-hopefully I didn't offend anyone. I do enjoy the stomped grapes. My husband and I went to the local liquor store the day before Christmas Eve and bought a case. They let you mix and match the case and get a 15% discount. My hubby is not a big wine drinker-nor a fancy wine drinker. His favorite is Pink Truck. About 9 bucks a bottle. But I got him to drink wine. Not always beer. So we wandered around and picked up about 8 bottles of various pink wines. The remaining few went to some of my favorite whites and sparkling. In case anyone out there possibly reading this lives in Minnesota, there is a great winery in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. The town is right off of Highway 52, south of the Twin Cities about 35 miles. It is called Cannon River Winery, as the Cannon River flows right through town. It is a family business and is a remodeled old car dealership. They have the most beautiful wood bar inside. I have a couple of favorites. Go Go Red and Sogn Blush. If you are around the area, or want a short day trip, look them up on the web. I think they are closed Mondays and Tuesday. You need to check them out. They do the small tasting cups to see which ones you might like. They do the flight for maybe 6 bucks and you get to try 3 different wines. It is a fun trip-they are very nice there and explain anything you want them to explain. You can even do a tour at the winery or out at the vineyard-which I haven't done yet but want to do this upcoming year. See, digressing again, but really-it is worth a trip to Cannon Falls. And another tidbit: Cannon Falls Minnesota is the only town named Cannon Falls in the entire USA. How about those apples? Or rather grapes?