We have been having some weird weather here...it was actually sort of cool outside yesterday and today it is misty and maybe even cooler. I can't remember it being like this in July here before. So it seemed OK to roast a chicken--normally I can't be bothered to heat up my kitchen like that during a Georgia summer. I had inherited some lemongrass from Marilyn--she and Steve moved to Michigan this weekend and I got a wide variety of stuff from their apartment as they cleaned it out such as guitar picks, postcards of New York City, a pregnancy test, a lava rock mortar & pestle...and lemongrass. I haven't really cooked with lemongrass before but I had this chicken in my fridge so I thought I would try to infuse it as it roasted.
Tied up the legs with a piece of kitchen twine (we've discussed the importance of trussing a chicken/turkey before, right?). Stuffed the cavity of the chicken with 3 stalks of chopped lemongrass, a 2" piece of sliced, fresh ginger, 5 cloves of messily chopped up garlic. Stuck it breast-side up on a v-rack set in a roasting pan, put it in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, flipped it over for about 20 minutes, and then flipped it back to breast-side up and basted it frequently after that. Tried not to lose any of the ginger/garlic/lemongrass stuffing as I flipped it about. After about 25 more minutes, used the baster to draw a lot of the juices/grease out of the bottom of the pan and checked the temperature at the the thickest point of the thigh with the digital meat thermometer (if you are not familiar with my love for digital meat thermometers at this point in our relationship then we really don't know each other very well). When the thermometer registered 165, I hauled it out of the oven and let it rest for a minute on a cutting board. Meanwhile, put 10 peeled, whole garlic cloves in the bottom of the roasting pan with 2 sliced yellow summer squash and tossed them around (remember, remove as much of the chicken juice as possible so you don't get overly greasy vegetables). Turned up the temperature to 425-450 and roasted the vegetables very quickly--probably took only about 15 minutes--tossing them frequently so they didn't burn. Carved up the chicken and made a sauce by pouring some chicken juices into a pan with a teaspoon of brown sugar and 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Reduced it down and poured over the sliced up chicken. Surrounded the sliced chicken and sauce with the roasted summer squash & garlic. The chicken ended up getting a really distinct gingery and lemongrass flavor in the meat and it was also a lot more moist. Success!
Jeremy and Melanie came up for dinner which we were actually able to eat on the porch because it wasn't hot as balls for once. We also had brown rice and broccoli in a soy-ginger-sesame sauce, but something was wonky with my beloved rice cooker because the rice wasn't done when it was supposed to be. So we kind of ate in stages, which was annoying, but whatever.