Friday, December 31, 2004


Happy New Year! A (Mostly) Non-Political Post

Happy New Year, everybody! Loved One's got the first Star Wars (A New Hope) DVD playing, while we're drinking Fess Parker's Frontier Red (a tolerable red, actually) and digesting a pretty good din-din. Appetizers were bangers (yes, small bits of rusk sausages wrapped in pastry), and the main course was Pollo alla Sale with Maryland crab cakes on the side. Pollo alla Sale is also known as Salt-Crust Chicken, and it goes like this: Get a 3.5-pound bird, then get 5 cups of kosher or sea salt and six cups of flour. (For a Cornish Game Hen, which is what we used, halve the amounts of both salt and flour.) Mix the flour and salt together, then add two to three cups of water -- enough to make a moist dough, but not a wet dough. Set aside and preheat the oven to 400F. Take the chicken -- or in this instance, a Cornish Game Hen (aka a baby chicken that weighs 1.5 lbs) -- and fill the innards with a few garlic cloves, a sprig of rosemary, and some sage (or herbes de provence, in this case), then season the outside with whatever you wish. Next, roll out the dough onto a floured surface until it is flat enough to be wrapped over the entire chicken, then place the bird in the center and wrap it up in the dough until the chicken is completely sealed within. (Hint: If you put wax paper or cling wrap on the counter first, you can get the dough up over the chicken simply by lifting up the paper -- and you won't have a big mess on the countertop.) Put the dough-encased bird on a cookie sheet or pizza tin and put it in the oven for at least an hour and ten minutes. When it comes out, use a blunt knife or chisel and a hammer to remove the dough crust, which you can then discard. (Another hint: Remove just the top of the crust, then lift the bird out of what's left. Less messy that way.) Result: A nice, juicy, flavorful bird. Mmmmm! And by the way: Don't forget to check out the sidebar, wherein you can find links to groups working to help the tsunami victims. Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

to Phoenix Woman and all people of good mind who want to bring our country back to where we should be.

Let's hope (and work to ensure) that '05 is a better year than '04.
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