Daily Archives: June 10th, 2012

Day Two: Cooking Carefully

Last week the district communications director asked for a quote about what I would do in retirement. I said the obvious: “I plan to travel and will be spending part of April in Paris.” Then she asked for more, and the real nerdy me came out to play. I stumbled around trying to say something about cooking with organic products and shopping locally for fresh food. I talked about the slow food movement. Word to self:  The concept of slow food doesn’t fit into a sound bite for a company newsletter. Finally I gave up because it just sounded so pompous. My second quote that was published in the newsletter said that I would visit my children in California (just like everyone else said they would spend time with their families and grandchildren).

And then my lovely team partner gave me a beautiful rosemary bush, and I knew I was off to the culinary races. I picked up a plump chicken at the market and an acorn squash. When I told Music Man about the plan for dinner, he said he wanted to try roasting the bird and the squash on the new grill. Since it was in the 90s yesterday, I was all for firing up the outside oven! We just bought this two weeks ago, kind of on a whim, and we’ve been very happy with our new baby.

I found a recipe online for using rosemary with a roasted chicken and I figured I was in good shape. I stuffed the cavity of the chicken with chunks of white onion and two big sprigs on rosemary, trimmed right off that new bush. I used freshly ground pepper and Wine Country Salt and sprinkled the bird liberally with the seasoning. Then we put it on a barbecue grill topper pan along with the halved acorn squash and pretty much ignored it for two hours.

RECIPE: Roast Chicken with Rosemary (source credit)

  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). We turned the Weber gas grill to 350 degrees and kept the lid closed)
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper to taste. Stuff with the onion and rosemary. Place chicken in a 9×13 inch baking dish or roasting dish.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear. Cooking time will vary a bit depending on the size of the bird.

The chicken came out moist and tender, with a nice crispy skin and a whiff of onion and rosemary.

The acorn squash was a little crispy on the edges, but with a dab of pesto sauce (next time I’ll make my own!), it was delectable.

We started with a spring mix salad and had a lovely dinner al fresco.

Who’s the pompous one now? Not me — I cooked a wonderful meal with very little fuss and I intend to keep doing it since I now have time to both shop and cook more carefully.

Happy retirement!