Monday, May 26, 2008

Chicken Old Ladies on a Bus

The next cookbook on my shelf is Atlanta Cooknotes, 80th Anniversary Edition, published in 1982 by The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc. Here's another one that I have no idea how I got it or why.

Reading through the recipes, I realized two things about Atlanta in 1982: 1) the residents really liked cream cheese, and 2) artichokes only came frozen or canned.

On to a sample of potential recipes:
  • Deviled Ham Log (with cream cheese, of course)
  • Garlic Salad - Place salt in salad bowl. Thoroughly mash garlic into salt. Add oil and vinegar. Cream cheese (Roquefort) into above mixture until smooth. It should look like a paste. Add lettuce (iceberg) and toss.
  • Cornish Hens in Orange Sauce - I actually wanted to make this one, because I have 2 hens in my freezer, but the recipe called for 1 teaspoon of MSG.
  • Lettuce Bread - umm...this sounds interesting and scary...everyone knows you can put vegetables in bread (mmm...zucchini), and cooked lettuce can be good (grilled romaine, escarole soup)...but...wait, I know! If anyone is courageous enough to make this, and taste it, I'll give them $5. Seriously. Email me if you want to accept the challenge.
What I finally settled on was Chicken Old Ladies on a Bus, whose recipe apparently came from an overheard conversation between, you guessed it, two old ladies on a bus.

Combine equal parts orange marmalade and hot barbecue sauce, a little Worcestershire sauce (always called "W sauce" when I was growing up), and lemon juice. Place chicken in a baking dish skin-side up, sprinkle with s&p, pour the sauce over the chicken, at bake for 1 hour, basting occasionally. Increase the heat and bake 15 minutes more.

I'm going to interrupt myself here by saying that deconstructing a chicken is a little nerve-wracking. You see, I had thawed a whole chicken before realizing that the recipe wanted parts. It took me 20 minutes and a lot of flying chicken goo to get my requisite pieces.

I was expecting completely overbaked chicken, given 60 minutes at 350 and 15 more minutes at 400 for 2 pounds of chicken pieces. But it turned out moist, even the breast! If I were to make this again, I'd definitely use less marmalade, because the resulting sticky cloying sweetness was slightly unpleasant. However, I used Stubb's hot barbecue sauce, so that made it tasty.

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