If you cook the same thing over and over and over again, eventually you get really good at it.
That’s what happened with me and chicken: I’m really good at cooking it. And though there are many who find chicken boring, that’s usually because chicken, when stripped of its skin and bones, is, indeed, very boring. So the first rule is: never cook chicken without the skin or bones. The second rule is: be generous with salt. I’ve quoted this often, because I never forgot it; when Mario Batali had his old Food Network show he showered a raw chicken with salt and said: “No one ever says ‘this chicken’s too salty.'” He’s right–and that salt makes a huge difference.
Ok, I promise, this is it with the Meyer lemons. You’re sick of them–after this post, and that post–I know, I know. And when Lindy drew lemons (that sort of look like Meyer lemons) into my banner this month, who knew I’d be writing so much about them? Unless this was Lindy’s master plan? What if she works for the Meyer lemon industry? What if her banners are prophecies and whatever she draws in them comes true? What if next month’s banner features me…DEAD?! This is like an episode of the X-Files!
But even Mulder and Scully would tell me to come off it and just get to the recipe for that gorgeous-looking pie in the lead photo.
There are two dishes referenced in Kim Severson’s “Spoon Fed” that don’t have corresponding recipes: the first is a chicken stuffed with Meyer lemons, the other is something called a “Jewish muffin.” I haven’t had any luck parsing the mysteries of the Jewish muffin, but after an exchange on Twitter I was able to extract from Kim a Tweetcipe for the chicken: “Meyer lemons, cut in half, shoved inside a well-seasoned chicken along with some fresh parsley and maybe thyme.”
I’m trying not to be dramatic here, but I can’t avoid the second half of this sentence: if you haven’t had a Meyer lemon, you haven’t lived!
Yes, that was a pretty dramatic thing to say, but let’s look at the facts: (1) A regular lemon isn’t very subtle, it’s an acidic attack on your taste buds. A Meyer lemon? It’s a subtly perfumed orangey lemony hybrid—it makes a regular lemon look like a punk; (2) regular lemons are around all year long, they pile up in their sad bins at the grocery store, and you grab them more out of pity than anything resembling delight. But Meyer lemons? They’re only here for a short time–the winter months up through the start of Spring (i.e. right now!)–and discovering a bin of Meyer lemons at the store is, for a food lover, like a baseball card collector stumbling upon a (insert rare baseball card here) at a garage sale. It’s cause for celebration.