Every time I roast a chicken, I think of my sister.
For years, decades really, I refused to have anything to do with “chicken on the bone.” Besides eating it, of course. If Col. Sanders was willing to hack through all that horrible connective tissue and handle that mysterious package of squishy little pieces, more power to him: I’ll eat the delicious fried results. But heck if I was going to handle that stuff — that’s what modern butchers are for! I bought skinless boneless chicken breasts.
Then, about a decade ago (I might have been living with her briefly at the time, between marriages as I was), my sister salted and peppered a whole chicken, popped it in the oven and said something like, “well, there’s dinner.”
“Oh, I admire you,” I said. “I hate handling chicken on the bone.”
“Oh, it’s so easy,” she said, making “easy” sound like it had 12 syllables. “You really should try it.”
Pretty much up until then, I assumed I was the smarter sibling. Because I was older, see. I had more experience.
Well, not with preparing chicken, as it turned out. My sister was right. Roasting a chicken is easy.
And then, I discovered when I moved in with my Beloved, that disgusting carcass of chicken bits and bones make the most amazing chicken broth. “Amazing,” with 12 syllables.
And making chicken broth is pretty easy, too! Who’d a thunk?
So today as I was salting and peppering my whole chicken (my Beloved refused to let me use anything fancy like lemon or garlic or, God forbid, rosemary), I thought of my sister. And of the amazing chicken soup I’m going to eat tomorrow, too.