We appreciate each and every vote cast for us as nominees for the second annual Country Living Magazine Blue Ribbon Blogger Awards. Sadly, they were not enough to clinch the “Reader’s Choice” honor. (According to Mitt Romney, we should have offered contraceptives, amnesty, aid for dependent children and other “free stuff.”) But even better, the judges picked us as the year’s best new cooking blog! We heard the news when we were in Normandy, but had to keep mum until Tuesday, when we were treated to a lovely fête that encompassed an office tour, information about event sponsor Rust-oleum (Steve will forever cherish the knowledge that its inventor originally called it “Fish-oleum”) and a congratulatory lunch atop Hearst Tower overlooking Central Park.
We could go on about the admiring comments, the excitement of a free trip to New York (including meeting the fabulous Bacon Biscuit IRL and trying her delicious bacon candy) and the Sally Field-esque realization that yes, somebody likes us—really likes us! Instead, we’ve decided to honor Chez Panisse’s simple roast chicken. As the intro to the recipe in Paul Bertolli and Alice Waters’ 1988 Chez Panisse Cooking (on which we long ago wrote “Perfect!”) states:
More than a recipe, this is a tribute to roast chicken, which can hardly be improved upon by the additions of a sauce or fancy seasonings. A well-roasted chicken requires neither of these embellishments. By itself it is plenty juicy and its crisp skin heightens the flavor of the flesh much like a sauce.
We basically started this blog as a handy way to reference our favorite recipes, after all—but somehow we’ve ended up with interesting new friends all over the world. Hooray, Internet, and thank you Country Living!
(adapted from Paul Bertolli and Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse Cooking)
- 1 free-range, preferably locally-raised, chicken (3-4 lbs.)
- Cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Bunch of herbs (optional)
Liberally season the chicken. Do not skimp on the salt. If you have some thyme, rosemary and/or parsley, you can stuff some into the cavity.
Place the bird in a roasting pan without a rack. Let it come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Roast the bird for 1 hour. Let it cool for at least 5 minutes before carving.
Well, congrats! How exciting for you both!
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Hooray and Big Congrats!!!!!!!!!!!
*cartwheels* *back flips* *high fives*
That’s some big chicken :)!
Thanks, Jama! Actually, it wasn’t so large. It’s just a rather close-up iPhone photo.
I voted for you; is my free stuff on the way?
Seriosuly, congratulations on the ribbon and accolades; well deserved!
See, you would only have gotten that if we’d won the readers’ choice. I’m sure Mittens would agree with that analysis.
Winner Winner!! Congratulations!! That’s quite the blue ribbon honor!! You definitely deserve it:D Now go celebrate some more!!
Thanks so much, Smidge. It really was fun.
A well-deserved Blue Ribbon. I just might have to make Alice’s chicken tonight.
Oh, do, and let us know how it turns out. It may be our most-made recipe, now that good chickens are available. (And, of course, I am not putting any of your beautiful girls in the edible category.)
You guys are always winners in our books! Great looking chicken.
Thanks, Greg. I think you were the first commenter we ever had, so I’ve got a real soft spot for the Rufus Guide!
Congratulations!! Couldn’t happen to a nicer blog. You guys rock.
Too sweet! It really was great fun. And then I kicked Steve back to KY and had fun in NYC with my college girlfriends.
Cute pic on the Country Living website, BTW. 😉
Thanks! Lucky to have: one friend who is a great photographer and another who is a great Photoshopper!
LOL. You guys don’t look like you need too much Photoshopping.
Congratulations!!!!!! Gourmandistan’s very well deserved win 🙂
It was great to finally meet and hang out with you guys too! I had so much fun and look forward to the next time. Maybe we can all shave pig heads together . . . 😉
This chicken looks divine. My host mother in France always told me that you never roast a chicken for fancy company, only for your most cherished family and friends. So this chicken given to us readers makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside 🙂 Thanks, Michelle and Steve! You guys are the best!
I’m in line for a pig’s head in the not-too-distant future. We look forward to your coming down and helping us deal with it!
Whoo hoo! I’ll bring the disposable razors!
AHEM. I’m coming too. (I’ve shaved pork jowls and belly, does that count?)
I wouldn’t dream of starting to shave without you there 🙂
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! HOW COMPLETELY AMAZING! HOORAY FOR COUNTRY LIVING! HOORAY FOR THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF GOURMANDISTAN!
So sweet. And, yes, come visit! You’re an honorary citizen.
Congrats! well deserved! I hope I’ll get my chance someday:0)
What wonderful news! Congratulations to you both!
Thanks so much. We were so surprised.
Sorry you’re not too impressed, “anor.” Perhaps “Duss” or “Ssud” can clue you in.
this is one of my favorite recipes. My Chez cookbook is tattered and well used.
It’s an oldie but goodie, isn’t it?
Congratulations! You deserve it! And that is one good looking chicken.
Thanks so much, Sacha. We were really surprised, plus it turned out to be really fun.
May one travel across half the world to add another loud ‘congratulations’ from ‘Down Under’! Next year . . . ?
One may! Thanks!
Very nice an simple roast chicken and congratulations!
Thanks so much. So happy that we can get good chickens now, as one wouldn’t want to make such a simple recipe with a mediocre one.
Well done, guys and a great choice of recipe.
Thanks so much, Roger!
Congratulations. Well deserved. Nice chicken too!
Wow!!!! This is a fantastic accolade! Congratulations. Really well deserved! We love your blog (and your recipes) in Côte d’Ivoire too!
Thanks so much, Jeanette! I am so enjoying learning about Côte d’Ivoire from your blog.
How exciting…congratulations on your win.
Thanks, Karen! It was a really pleasant surprise. And any excuse to go to New York is good in my book.
CONGRATS CONGRATS My friend 😀
Great news, congratulations!!