If there's one thing I do know during this crazy Coronavirus pandemic, it's that we'll all likely have a lot more time to cook, for better or worse. The State of Alaska has also mandated several actions, including maintaining several feet of distance between people, which means a lot fewer trips to the grocery store.
This is a great opportunity to use up several common pantry items, and get creative, but also fall back on old favorites. Over the next several days, look for The Flying Chef's "Pandemic Pantry" series, hopefully inspiring and comforting all of you (read: us) stuck at home.
First up: The Flying Chef's Two-Day Chicken. A favorite from the minute you purchase in bulk (two chickens) from your local big box store.
Just remember to wash, wash, and wash your hands some more, for at least 25 seconds, with real soap, and don't touch your face. Just don't. Stay at least six feet from other people, which may mean a slower shopping process, but that's OK if it keeps us from getting sick, OR transmitting the virus to other people.
OK -- message received? Let's cook.
The Flying Chef's Two-Day Chicken.
1 whole chicken (buy in packs of two or individually)
¼ cup olive oil
8 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons whole basil
1-teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp brown sugar
1 cup wood chips for smoking (see procedure for option)
1 plastic bag (produce bags work, as do smaller-size NON-SCENTED trash bags)
Add the following to a blender:
Slice lemon and extract juice. Pour juice into blender and reserve the rind.
Add all remaining ingredients, except the wood chips and blend for about a minute.
Clean chicken under cool running water, remove giblets and discard.
Place chicken in plastic bag.
Pour contents of blender into the bag and fully coat the bird with the mixture, being sure to get some of the marinade into the cavity.
Place the reserved lemon rind into the cavity of the chicken.
Remove excess air from the bag and tie closed.
Place in refrigerator for 24 hours.
Make sure and knead the bag once or twice in this period.
From here, vary the recipe depending upon your cooking equipment:
Use a grill and cook with wood chips for about 90 minutes on indirect heat. Using charcoal? Move the coals to one side and place the bird on the other. With a gas grill, light only one burner to ensure that the tasty entrée will not burn when it drips, and will be a golden brown success.
Don't have a grill or want to cook inside? No problem.
Roast at 375 degrees for about an hour, or until the internal temperature of the hip joints reaches 180 degrees. Yes, you should clean the kitchen drawers to find that meat thermometer.
Remove bird form heat and cover with foil for approximately 15 minutes.
Carve, serve and wait for the complements to roll in. Seriously.
I suggest a few side dishes. Stuffing or garlic mashers along with a light salad should do the trick.