Scott and I just came back to DC after a week in Spain and Portugal. Every time I go back home time just flies. We spent literally all the time we had seeing family and friends, and it was not enough to see everybody and spend all the time I wanted with my people.
However, we came back and it seems like so much time passed since we left and so many things happened here in DC. We missed Saint Patrick's Day and seeing Obama at an Irish Pub, like our friends did (check this entry on Lumay's blog Fork+Canvas). But the worst of all, we missed the Cherry Blossoms.
Washington DC has many attractions: museums, monuments, parks, restaurants... lots of things to see that I never see because I live here and I can go anytime. However, there is one thing you can't see anytime even if you live here, and that is the Cherry Blossom Festival. Thousands of cherry trees, donated by Japan 100 years ago, bloom every year in the capital and thousands of tourists come to see it. The blooming usually starts in April and lasts a couple weeks. I was excited about the Cherry Blossoms since I first moved to DC. Months of excitement. Months of excitement crashed on the ground because this year the trees decided to bloom on March 20th (when I was in Spain), and then a couple days later it rained and all the flowers disappeared. Thank you trees. Thank you Global Warming. Really, thank you...
So yesterday I drove to Potomac Park to see what was left of the flowers. Most of the trees were empty and the ground was full of petals. I took the picture below. The flowers are not from a cherry tree, but from a different kind of tree. There were some of these full of flowers and people who were late for the cherry blossoms, like me, were taking pictures of them as a consolation price.
Oh well, that was enough crying. Now I want to give you the recipe of the roasted chicken I made before going to Spain, the one we ate with the Brussels sprouts.
I have always been disgusted by whole raw chickens. I remember watching my mom empty the insides and burn the feathers on the kitchen burner. It was really unpleasant. And that smell.. Fortunately, in America, chicken comes clean,empty and featherless. Thanks God. I really didn't want to have to do that with my first chicken. So I read about fifteen recipes of roasted chicken in different blogs and books, and then I improvised this recipe based on all of them.
1 onion quartered
1 lemon quartered
1/2 tbsp dry thyme
1/2 tbsp dry sage
3 tbsp butter (or olive oil)
Clean the chicken and empty the insides if it is not empty. Season with salt and pepper outside and inside. This can be done the day before, then put the chicken in a plastic bag and leave it in the refrigerator so it absorbs the salt.
Preheat the oven at 450°F/230°C. Stuff the chicken with the onion and the lemon. Sprinkle it with the spices and brush the melted butter (or olive oil) over the chicken.
Set wire rack on a large roasting pan. Pour a cup of water over the pan. Arrange the chicken over the prepared rack breast side up. Roast on the top third of the oven for about 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 350°F/180°C and roast for another 40 minutes or until the temperature inside the thigh reaches 165°F/75°C. Let it rest for 15 minutes before eating. Serve with the pan drippings.
I didn't have enough juice on the pan so I poured them into a skillet, I added some white wine and chicken stock and let it simmer a couple minutes. Then I added a tablespoon of butter to thicken it. Great sauce.