Saturday, January 15, 2011

Mid-January.  Aside from the sinking-realization that you ate too much over the holidays, these are the days when it's all-too-clear you over-spent, too.  Belts are loosened and budgets tightened.  Butter suddenly seems expensive and that gorgeous cut of organic beef is downright out-of-range.  But that doesn't mean you can't conjure up a decent meal.  

Last night, after a boozy-toboggan with our friends Ash and Paul, we had delicious grilled cheese sandwiches.  To off-set the high cost of goat gouda, aged cheddar and prosciutto, Ash served with good old fashioned Campbell's Tomato Soup (including a healthy crush of soda crackers).  A study in spend and save.  Not only is a can of condensed soup tasty on a cold night, it's a thorough reminder of childhood, those rare days when you'd eat lunch at home, a hot bowl of soup replacing a squashed PB&J sandwich.  

It was a perfect meal, satisfying on every level, and didn't break the bank.

So, this afternoon while wandering the St. Lawrence Market, I had my eyes on the cheap stuff: pork or chicken, perhaps a simple sausage.  No beautiful slabs of black cod, no gleaming veal or lamb.  Not tonight.   This deeply-frozen Saturday would be about a whole chicken.  Stuffed with lemon; pats of butter delicately pressed beneath the skin.  Salt and pepper.  Its little legs twined tightly and nestled in a stock pot, surrounded by two cans of butter beans.  The whole mess roasted in a 400° oven for 75 minutes, or so.  The beans, soaked in the drippings and the butter, will become a mash of sorts, lovely and salty beneath the meat. 

It's a pretty rustic (read: sloppy) meal, so forgive the lack of photographs.  Sometimes it's best to just tuck-in and eat while listening to a moody mix of songs.  Enjoy

Songs for Hunkering Down

  1. Godless Brother in Love - Iron & Wine
  2. January Hymn - The Decemberists
  3. Paris Blue - Lykke Li
  4. Moments with Oliver - Rachael Yamagata
  5. Tracy's Waters - Patrick Watson
  6. The Darkest Side - The Middle East
  7. Heavy Snow - Julie Doiron
  8. The Greatest - Cat Power
  9. Dinner at Eight - Rufus Wainwright
10. The Spirit Was Gone - Antony & the Johnsons
11. Tu es Malade - Julie Doiron
12. Godspeed - Jenny Lewis
13. Overnight - Gonzales
14. Magic View - Diane Birch
15. Video - Aimee Mann


  1. Looks delicious. MMMM buttery goodness. More music too. Love it!

  2. Dude, you were GAY for those soda crackers. I wanted a couple, but I was afraid to reach for them. Glad the chicken turned out so nicely!

  3. Does this mean you already have the Kiss Each Other Clean album?? In other great music news...have you heard First Aid Kit yet? Specifically, the youtube video of these kids covering a Fleet Foxes song? Superb.

  4. I should have had this playlist for the last three days. I can't tell you how many times I've heard or said some variation of the word "HUNKER"...