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Happy Monday, Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas everybody! The snow may be a pain, but it sure does make everything festive, doesn’t it?

I hunkered down on Friday night and roasted a couple of chickens. I modified the Judy Bird technique we told you about around Thanksgiving: on Thursday morning, I salted the birds and put a sprig of thyme and a sprig of rosemary under the breast and thigh (I saw this in Judy Rodgers’ orignal roast chicken recipe here and here). Then I put the chix back in the plastic produce bag from the grocery store and left them in the fridge til Friday night. So that’s about 36 hours.Then I roasted at 425 for an hour and a half, starting breast down and turning every 20 to 30 minutes until they finished breast up. Man oh man they were gorgeous:

I served the chicken with polenta from Wild Hive Farm Bakery (which I ordered from mypersonalfarmers.com) and a fennel recipe from Andrew Carmellini’s new Urban Italian cookbook. (I also cooked the polenta from a recipe in Urban Italian. I gotta say, while the food turned out good it was only the experience two near-professional cooks that saved the dishes. The polenta was ready in 45 minutes; not 2 hours like the book said… and the broth I was braising the fennel in had to be removed from the pot and put in a saute pan to reduce to a glaze as was requested in the recipe. It’s a beautiful book with great sounding recipes, gorgeous photography and very nice writing, but I’ll have to cook something else from it before I can give it the seal of approval.)

Anyway, all was saved in the end:

Roast Judy Bird Chicken, Fennel with Orange, Wild Hive Polenta with Rosemary and Thyme-Mushroom Saute. One of the best chickens I’ve had in a while. Try it. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

The next day I sauted the polenta and topped it with a mushroom-chicken hash and a fried egg. Before egg:

Wow. That’ll get you ready for snow shoveling!

On Sunday I read by the fire and did a bit more shoveling and stacked the wood hoop. Then I met some friends at the pub for supper. I’m almost ready for the holidays.

The last couple weeks have been slow in blog-land, but it seems like everybody took the weekend to catch up. Lots of local links for you.

The Times goes all foodie on us this week:
MH says the Iron Horse Grill still has its bells and whistles, making it three excellents in a row for the Gray Lady. (NYT)
Perdita Buchan writes about her cookbook collection. (NYT)
Maria Laurino writes about the feast of the seven fishes. (NYT)
Joseph Berger profiles Kaye Hansen of The Riviera Bakehouse in Ardsley and throws in a graph or two on Greyston Bakery in Yonkers. (NYT)

And the rest of the local scene:
WE visits the Peekskill Brewery and finds the menu fun and interesting.
Miki attends the holiday cabaret at X20 and, like, totally loves it! (SSS)
Doug wants everyone to spread the word about Tangerine Thai. (HT)
And has a trip down memory lane at Squires. (HT)
The corgi frolics in snow as the Blushing Hostess bakes scones. (BH)
Auryn reports that a chef from Poke in NYC recently took over Ace Cuisine in Thornwood. (CH)
Saracuccio didn’t love her trip to the new Sunset Grill. (CH)
Marty19 reports in on the late-night menu at the new Emma’s Ale House in WP. (CH)
The first reports on SOMA 107 in WP: Manhattan vibe; dancing. (CH)
Good tamales and tacos at Guliana Mexican Deli in Yonkers. (CH)


About Author

Liz Johnson is content strategist for The Journal News and lohud.com, and the founding editor of lohudfood, formerly know as Small Bites. As food editor, she won awards from the New York News Publishers Association, the Association of Food Journalists and the Associated Press. She lives in Nyack with her husband and daughter on a tiny suburban lot they call their farm — with fruit trees, an herb garden, and a yardful of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, shallots, cucumbers, zucchini, radishes, cabbage, peppers, Brussels sprouts and carrots and four big blueberry bushes.


  1. Hi Liz, Your dishes sounded, and looked, so enticing – and I could tell that you enjoyed the cooking as much as the eating. I wanted to share that I dry-brined a whole beef filet for Christmas Eve, and the taste transformation was just as impressive. And I’m such a salt addict anyway, so this type of cooking is very close to nirvana for me. Have you ever salt-roasted a chicken or ther meat?

  2. Hi Maryanne! Thank you so much.
    I’m not sure what you’re asking. I have dry-brined (like the chicken in this post) but I’ve never done a salt-crusted roast, like a fish. Is that what you’re asking? Where you pile all the salt around the meat and basically it steams inside? I’ve never tried that. Would love to one day, though!

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