We always salt our chicken and air dry it on racks in the refrigerator for at least a day and upwards of three before cooking. The other night we had our seasoned chicken ready to roast but no vegetables around to roast with it. We find it essential to roast chicken on or surrounded by vegetables to allow the flavors to mingle and make dinner a bit simpler and more delicious. But the key is the flavor. Anything roasted with chicken tastes better. Thankfully our pantry is always stocked. Aki pulled out a few bags of frozen artichoke hearts and spread them onto a sheet pan. She nestled the salted chicken thighs between the artichokes. We roasted them together for 45 minutes. The result was crispy, crackling chicken surrounded by rich, caramelized artichoke hearts. If anything, the artichokes became too saturated with chicken juices, an experience we had not had before. The vegetables were delicious but I wasn't able to eat nearly as many as I wanted. Still, the convenience of the artichokes and the initial pleasure in eating them was awesome.
Which led me to the question of convenience and whether I would buy salted and air dried chicken, from whole birds to individual parts, at the store? If I could get my seasoned chicken fix without tying up our refrigerator space and without having to plan ahead, I believe that would be a delicious convenience. Of course then we lose our ability to control the salt amounts, so maybe what appears to be a good idea is actually a desire for convenience that would not make our dinner more tasty at all.
March 28, 2009