I am a perfectionist. I like to be good at everything I do, and if I’m not immediately great at [insert whatever here] I automatically find the venture dumb, and not worth my time anyway (it’s a really mature way of thinking and I do the same thing with Jeopardy answers I don’t know). But I’m getting better. Slowly.

I stuck with pool long enough to get good and justify buying my own cue (her name is Blanche and she’s pretty cool for a stick), and despite getting all Hulk-smash-mad every time I have cooked a whole chicken that took longer than it should and was burnt on the top and raw on the bottom, I have stuck with that as well.  All the pain, suffering, and kitchen whining were worth it. Last night I triumphed in the kitchen by not only successfully cooking the thing, but making it taste pretty darn good as well.

First, open a can of beer and drink half of it (this is essential). Then pick all the gizzards out of the cavity and throw in a big soup pot (to simmer down with the rest of the carcass for soup). Rinse the bird in the last little bath it will have on this sphere, and gently pull the skin from the meat so you can cram a ‘healthy’ mixture of butter, garlic and some choice seasonings in there. Now take your half consumed can of beer, and wedge it up the chickens south end so it sits like a prince(ss) on it’s new beer throne. Slather with some souped up olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little cayenne, cover and stick in the oven for an hour and a half @ 450*. After a few more cocktails, the timer should be letting you know it’s time to remove the foil – allow the bird to brown and crisp for another 25-30 minutes. Rest your nicely cooked bird for 5-10 minutes, carve, and devour.

After you’re done picking at the carcass, throw it in the stock pot with the bones and gizzards for chicken noodle soup. This morning I simmered the chicken bits with a whole onion, a few cloves of garlic, 2 carrots and some celery. Tonight I’ll skim the fat from the top, strain the bones and mushed veggies out, and start working new veggies into my ‘from scratch stock.’ We like a few potatoes, some wild rice, and egg noodles thrown in as well. I can’t wait. It’s so good.

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