Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christopher Walken's Chicken with Pears (17/24)

Roast chicken number seventeen tests true simplicity. At the hands of Christopher Walken.

A few years ago, a friend of mine sent me a link to a three-minute and twelve-second video of Christopher Walken roasting a chicken and some pears. My friend sent the video to share some laughs. And at the time, I was in the very early stages of my cooking addiction and had done nothing close to roasting a chicken before. So laugh I did and life continued.

Then this project came along. And somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I had a vague recollection of one Christopher Walken roasting a chicken with some pears. And by vague, I mean it's very difficult to just forget a video of Christopher Walken doing something as mundane and accessible as roasting a chicken. And so the video goes.

0:17 - "It looks like the Eiffel Tower." [These beer can roaster contraptions can cost no more than $8.]

0:19 - "What I do is I take some of this fat and I cut that off, and I stick that on top here."

0:30 - "Then the chicken goes on here, like it's standing up, you see. What I usually do is take that flap of skin, I fold it over. I take a toothpick and I kind of seal that shut."

0:46 - "This takes a lot of salt. Salt is gonna come off it, when it cooks. But I use, just to coat the chicken, really a lot of salt."

1:04 - "I put it in this aluminum dish to catch those juices, 'cause you can make a nice, um, gravy with it afterwards."

1:16 - "And here's the livers and the neck. I love this chicken neck. It's great. Just stick that at the bottom." [This chicken didn't come with the giblets, unfortunately, but I'm sure it would have been great.]

1:23 - "A little pepper on the top...I like to...pepper, there."

1:28 - "And now, add these pears. I'm gonna cut the bottom off the pears so that it sits. Now, just take a little bit of that stem off. And what I do is, with these bottoms that I cut off, I use them in the pan to put the pear on top of so that they don't stick.

2:00 - "See, I put that down, and I put the pear on top of that."

2:05 - "And I just put those around the *sniff* the chicken *ding*. It's all gonna cook at the same time. Takes the same amount of time."

2:12 - "400 degrees. And that goes in there for one hour."

2:23 - "Be right back."

2:25 - "Now what've we got. A chicken, with the pears."

2:30 - "See these pears look very nice. They've gotten kind of candied. And because I *ehem* put down the little cap, see, the pears didn't stick. And those little caps, actually, they get, like, little cookies. They're very tasty."

2:55 - "I save them."

3:02 - "Mmm! Very nice. Perfect with the chicken."

The chicken was incredibly juicy. The first cut I took with the knife actually projected chicken juice into the air and onto the floor. It was that juicy. The very generous amount of salt did wonders for the skin. I could've eaten the skin by itself, but that would mean I wouldn't get to eat the perfectly tender pieces of chicken meat. So I ate both.

The pears were pearfection and gave the simple preparation of the chicken some pearsonality. Pearsonally, I thought the whole pear, and not just the cap, was like a cookie. The flesh was meaty, like a roasted beet, and the skin added some pleasantly pear-cing bitterness to each bite.

The simplicity and bursting deliciousness of the chicken with the pears really puts this chicken near the top of my list. Ya did darn good, Christopher Walken.

3:06 - "Okay, that's all for now."

3:09 - Enter cat.

And scene.

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