food & drinks, Toronto

Sunday night dinner: garlicy roast chicken


I spent Saturday night trudging through snow banks with holes in my shitty boots. Despite the snowfall, Toronto didn’t stay home and there were lines for bars where there is usually tumbleweed. After 45 minutes in a line to nowhere, me moved our our sour, frozen faces to Free Times Cafe. If it was not for the piping hot latkes, their accompanying cinnamon-y apple sauce and Creemore beer on tap, Saturday night would have been a bust.

After all the hoopla, I slept in. I rarely sleep past 10, but winter has convinced me that hibernation is the only way to survive it. When my bladder finally forced me out of bed, I found H on the couch wide awake, toast eaten, coffee drank and already up for three hours. Shame made me stay up but I promised myself an entire day inside and never left the building.

Instead, I’ve been surprisingly productive in the kitchen. I made a fresh pot of coffee which I drank with a sprinkling of cinnamon and a homemade egg salad sandwich. Then, I made Orangette’s white bean hummus. I painstakingly used a hand blender in place of a food processor, which I don’t recommend. It’s messy and not nearly as effective.

The grand finale to the day of domesticity was the Sunday night dinner of garlic roasted chicken. I served it with crispy fingerling potatoes and baked baby carrots. I had never put anything in a brine before, but the chicken recipe changed that and my life. I don’t want to go back and I can’t recommend it enough.

Tonight’s dinner was based on this 40 clove chicken recipe. I intended to roast an entire chicken but the grocery store didn’t have any more whole, free range antibiotic-free chickens left. Instead, I bought a couple of breasts and five drumsticks. In place of  white peppercorns, I tossed in a teaspoon of black pepper. When it came time to roast the chicken, I slid garlic, thyme, parsley and butter underneath the skin of the breasts and drumsticks. The result was a deliciously moist and flavourful chicken. I suppose I should have taken out the bare sprig of thyme before I snapped the picture, but you’ll have to excuse me. My food photography isn’t very good but I’m working on it.

If you have suggestions for another recipe that involves a brine, please send it along.