It’s that time of the year when I am again going to whine endlessly about the heat and how physically painful it is to cook. But I cook anyway. And that means the whining is nothing but whining. If some psychologists are to be believed, whining as a form of releasing frustration may actually be healthy. So, I’ll whine away, release all my pent-up frustrations about the summer heat which I cannot do anything about, then cook. That way, what needs to get done will get done and we won’t have to resort to canned meat loaf with its mysterious ingredients that may or may not include horse or carabao meat.
Okay, so it was darn hot at noon until sunset. So I chose to cook this chicken and potato dish because it required only three utensils — a pan, a chopping board and a knife — for a quick clean-up. This dish is also very light with no thick gravy nor creamy sauce. It isn’t short on flavor though, I assure you of that. I used celery salt and freshly ground black pepper, nothing more. If you substitute regular salt, the dish will still get cooked through but the richness in flavor won’t be the same.
- 1 small chicken, about 1 kg.
- celery salt, as much or as little as your taste buds dictate
- pepper as much as you like
- 1 strip of belly bacon, thinly sliced
- 3 to 4 potatoes, cut into wedges
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp. of dried rosemary
- ½ c. of broth, preferably homemade
- Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Cut down the back, through the bone, to open up the chicken, butterfly-style. Rub generously with celery salt and pepper.
- Heat a cast iron (or other heavy) skillet. Add the bacon slices and cook over medium heat until the bottom of the pan is covered with melted bacon fat.
- Push the bacon slices to the sides of the pan. Turn up the heat. Arrange the chicken at the center, skin side down. Cook until the skin is lightly browned then flip over.
- Scatter the potato wedges around the chicken. Do the same with the garlic cloves and onion slices. Sprinkle the potatoes and onion slices with celery salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle the rosemary over the chicken and vegetables.
- Pour in the broth. When the broth starts to boil, turn the heat to low, cover the pan tightly and cook the chicken and potatoes for 30 to 35 minutes.