A man-pleasing dinnerA man-pleasing dinner

Tonight I was feeding four men so I pulled out a recipe that never fails to please. I have learned over the years that in addition to short skirts and long hair on women, men love meat.

My favorite market, McGinnis Sisters, had Amish frying chickens on special for $1.19/lb., so I got 2 of them. I started by cutting up 2 big yams and several smaller white potatoes and tossing them with lemon juice, olive oil, kosher salt, minced fresh garlic, and dried oregano and spreading them out in a wide shallow pan. Then I split the chickens in half by cutting down both sides of the backbone, careful to spare as much of the oyster (that tender nugget of meat between the thigh and the body of the chicken) as possible, splitting the breastbone in half and cutting the whole thing in two, all with my Chinese cleaver. I also removed the wingtips and threw them and the backbone away. In my more frugal days I would have saved these in a bag in the freezer for future stock-making but now I’m too lazy.

Next I made a paste of the juice of half a lemon, about 2 T. of dried oregano, 2 T. smoked Spanish paprika, crushed fresh garlic, 2 T. kosher salt, 2 T. olive oil. I flattened the chicken halves out and placed them over the potatoes in the pan. Then I spread the paste all over the outside of the chicken and placed it in a preheated 450 degree oven. This took about 1 hour to cook and it was delicious, especially the garlicky, lemony drippings.

Notes: Smoked Spanish paprika is available from Adriana’s Caravan, either on the internet or the Grand Central Station shop. And when you’re shopping for lemons, in addition to looking for those that are heavy for their size, look for lemons that are round in shape, rather than oval or oblong; they will tend to have far fewer seeds.


Your chicken looks delicious! God how I miss your man dinners. Don’t you love how we’re always talking about pleasing men?

Thanks for the tip on lemons—I had no idea! What did you think of that Meyer lemon I left you? I’ve taken to eating them like oranges when they’re in the house.

I used to believe my Pennsylvania Dutch great-grandmother when she said “Kissing don’t last, cooking do.”, but she lied! Good relationships need just as much kissing as they do cooking, so girls, make sure you don’t neglect either one!

must remember, kissing + cooking = good! (does it matter that he’s doing most of the cooking??)

Not as long as you’re doing most of the kissing!

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