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“Say there Erik, all these non-alcoholic drinks and beverages are awesome, but have you noticed the weather outside? It is F-ing C.O.L.D.”
(Or, well, as cold as it ever gets in San Francisco, which is to say, not very cold.)
“How about a seasonally appropriate drink?”
OK, then, here’s a spiced cider toddy, enlivened with a little smoky Lapsang Souchong tea.
(Sorry for the sloppy pour, you might want to remove the peels before straining into a glass.)
Apple Ginger Tea Toddy
1 Cup Apple Juice.
1 Cup Ginger People GingerGizer (An extra spicy Ginger, Lemon, and Honey Beverage.)
1 Whole Star Anise.
1 Cinnamon Stick, plus extra for garnish.
2 Whole Cloves, plus a few extra reserved for garnishes.
3 Whole Green Cardamom Pods, Crushed.
Peel 1/2 Orange (or other citrus, I used tangerine.)
1 Lemon Peel, plus an extra reserved for each garnish.
1 teaspoon Lapsang Souchong Tea (Lapsang Souchong is kind of the Islay Scotch or Mezcal of tea. It is smoke dried over burning pinewood fires, giving it a distinct ‘campfire’ flavor. Like Islay Malt and Mezcal, it tends to provoke a strong positive or negative response among people who try it.)
To create garnish, stud a lemon peel with whole cloves for each serving.
Bring all Apple Juice, GingerGizer, and spices to a simmer on stove or in the microwave. Turn off heat and add Tea. Cover and brew for 4 minutes. Strain into a warmed glasses and garnish with clove studded lemon peels and cinnamon sticks.
You could add booze, but with the heat from the ginger and astringency from the tea, you might be happy with this virgin Toddy without any booze at all.
One of my big rules for myself is to buy chickens whole and break them down.
They are usually so much tastier and less dry.
In the summer I usually grill, but in the winter, I roast.
When, I roast chickens, I usually spatchcock them, rub with herbs and olive oil, place them on my oven’s broiling tray, and then convection roast at 375 F.
However, at a couple of Bay Area restaurants, they do a cool thing where they cook their potatoes under the rotiseries where they roast chickens. The potatoes become saturated with delicious fat and meat juices. Mmmmm…
Leaving aside any issues of cross contamination, and a lack of pan gravy, I wondered if I couldn’t do something similar. Anyway, unlike myself, Mrs Flannestad isn’t a big fan of gravy.
Preheat your oven to 400F (375F if convection).
Spatchcock and rub your chicken with oil and spices as desired. Cut up your potatoes and toss with a little oil, salt, and pepper. I’ve discovered the potatoes need a bit of a head start on the chicken, so put them in the dripping pan of your broiling rack and place in the oven for 15-20 mins or until they start to cook. After 15 mins, move the potatoes around a bit and then place the chicken on the broiling rack. Put the broiling rack on top of the dripping pan and potatoes. Cook until desired degree of doneness is reached (internal temp of around 150F). Remove chicken to rest. Remove potatoes from pan, scraping to get all the good stuff, carve chicken, and serve with a salad or other vegetable.
For bonus points, serve Persimmon Pudding for dessert with Mitchell’s Pumpkin Ice Cream.