Monday, December 3, 2007

An Owl

Going out front yesterday evening to snip some rosemary for a chicken I was roasting (my first whole roasted chicken :-) ), it had already grown quite dark, and as I started snipping off sprigs, I heard an owl softly hooting. I looked at all the nearby trees where it might have been perched, but couldn’t spot it. I went back inside for my binoculars, and heard it again when I came back out, but still couldn’t see it. It was making a who hooting call, something I haven’t heard barred owls do. Mark McK said that great horned owls make a soft call like that. I have seen great horned owls before, but they are usually silent. And I would have thought an owl that big would be easy to spot.

The chicken turned out well. I was following an Alice Waters recipe for roasted chicken, which called for an hour in a 400 degree oven with three turns — breast up, breast down, breast up. I had read through quite a bit of direction in our Cook’s Illustrated New Best Recipe guide, which said the approach recommended by Waters (they did not reference her directly, just the temperature she specified) would result in the outer 1 inch of breast meat being overcooked. And, they were right. It was still good, but I plan to follow the Cook’s Illustrated approach for my next chicken.

This is neither an owl nor a chicken, but my next door neighbor Joan wearing a festive hat. I took the picture yesterday when Joan and Diane were putting up Christmas decorations in their yard.

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