Like never having read The Scarlet Letter as an English major, never having roasted a chicken was something that filled me with compunction. And just like my predicament with Hawthorne, I was tempted to lie about my lack of experience with the poulet roti. But all that changed last Friday night.
I started with an organic bird called Rosie and a simple recipe that asked for nothing more than a lemon and some salt & pepper. I added 3 cloves of garlic on the assumption that garlic makes everything better.
Preheating the oven to 350 degrees, I prepared a dish of potatoes, onions and carrots tossed with olive oil and rosemary to cook alongside the bird. Then, three friends and I poured glasses of wine and waited to see what would happen.
What happened, after about an hour and twenty minutes, was a perfect roast chicken--golden and crispy on the outside, and running with clear lemony juices. And while I may never get around to reading Hawthorne, had I known how simple and satisfying it would be to roast a chicken, I surely would have done it sooner.