I just finished reading Anthony Bourdain's Medium Raw. By his own admission, the man is angry, but I have to say that he's got a lot of things right. One thing in particular really stuck with me....the need to respect our food. Vegans do it automatically, as they abstain from the whole "meat thing". I was a pseudo vegetarian for years, 23 to be exact, and while I had no philosophical dilemma to dodge the lowly cheeseburger, I found that eating red meat just didn't really agree with my system. After a romantic night out on the town, and a slab of prime rib demolished and safely nestled inside my belly, I could feel my body start to work really hard to digest it, and at the ripe old age of 18 was having monster hot flashes at 2 in the morning. Not wanting to be "ahead of my time", I gave in, and gave up all things bovine and porcine.
After a while tho, 23 years of trying innovative new ways to cook vegetables, I frankly got bored. It was time to add some real flavour to my meals.
Back to Anthony. He mentions that all cooks, not just chefs, but those people who throw themselves into the kitchen to attempt to churn out a passable meal for their loved ones, needs to be able to roast a chicken. Due to all those lovely rotisserie chickens turning and smelling up most modern day grocery stores, it had been a while since I'd tried to do one myself. So last night, it was time for me to take back a basic, and make sure to do Tony proud.
So here we are in Latin America. We've been traveling on both land and sea for a few years, and while we love to try new things, they can still do some things in these here parts that will surprise me. A chicken is pretty straightforward, or so I thought, but last night I saw something I hadn't ever seen before. As my mother taught me, I was to always reach inside the bird, pull out whatever was in there, and either discard, save for another use, or feed to others less fortunate.
I'm afraid that I'll never hear the phrase "head up your ass" ever again, without this image flashing through my brain.
Although, in the MOST respectful way imaginable.
Anthony, while I may not make it as a professional chef, I can STILL roast a chicken!