Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Perfect Roast Chicken, and My Voodoo Wedding

No recipe today, I just wanted to answer some questions, ask a question, and post something that I am absolutely in love with: this perfect roast chicken. The method comes from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home, but if you don't have the book you can find the recipe recreated on numerous food sites, including Simply Recipes. It yields skin that is paper-crisp and has separated just so from the juicy, tender meat. The trick is to slather the bird with olive oil and butter, and then blast it at 475 degrees F for 25 minutes before lowering the heat to 400.
I mean, just look at that:
If you're wondering, it's a Bell and Evans chicken, which means it was free roaming and fed an all-vegetarian diet, as opposed to some miserable, abused, stressed-out and sad Perdue creature. It cost a bit more ... but then, I don't need to eat a whole chicken every day, do I?

A few of you asked for some more details about my June 2008 New Orleans voodoo wedding, which I mentioned in my last post. Well, I aim to please! If you're a regular reader, you may remember that New Orleans is my favorite American city, as well as  Poppa Trix's. (And to clear up a bit of confusion: Poppa Trix is my husband, not my father! I mean ... ew.)

Voodoo came to New Orleans via African slaves and free people of color from Haiti, where it blended with the city's official French Catholicism to become something entirely original, as are most things in New Orleans. Most interesting to me is voodoo's connection with folk medicine: For example, a voodoo practitioner in the 1800s may have prescribed moldy bread as a cure for syphilis - not such a bad practice when you consider that penicillin actually comes from mold.

Three years before Poppa Trix popped the question, just before Katrina, I interviewed a voodoo priestess, Priestess Miriam Chamani of the Voodoo Spiritual Temple, for a New Orleans walking tour I had been hired to write. Poppa Trix and I are not voodoo practitioners, but given that we are both fairly  ... nontraditional, to put it mildly, he felt - and I wholeheartedly agreed - that a voodoo wedding, officiated by Priestess Miriam, would be perfect for us. (And yes, she is licensed to perform wedding ceremonies.)  If you ever find yourself in New Orleans, go and visit her - she is truly a one-of-a-kind, and defies description.

So, for the curious, here are some photos:
With our basket of offerings for the temple - note the red velvet cake on the right!
Receiving a blessing from Priestess Miriam
The happy couple (i.e. us!)  & Priestess Miriam

There you go - the Cliffs Notes version of my voodoo wedding. I hope you weren't too bored.

And now my question for you: What do you think of my new banner? Poppa Trix made it for me. I love the streamlined look of it, but I welcome your feedback.

Happy New Year - here's to a fabulous 2011!





27 comments:

  1. I love the new banner, and the story, so cute! You two are so perfect for each other and look amazing! Congrats to you as the perfect couple and may you live every day in each others love for each other with it growing more and more for many years to come! Happy New Year!

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  2. Congrats on getting married!! Your wedding is unique and you both look beautiful together. I wish you happiness and love!


    Nisrine

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  3. Thanks for sharing more about your wedding! =) Looks like it was perfect. The banner is awesome, and the trick to crispy skin is awesome.

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  4. I love that you had a voodoo wedding. I carry a Gris Gris bag that friends got for me from a Priestess in NO.

    Chicken looks awesome.

    Happy New Year cutie pie!

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  5. Unusual indeed! I love your dress... By the way, sorry about the Foodista book giveaway at my blog, it was indeed too late when you made the comment :(
    As for your oil giveaway, I did read your post, but I would have felt guilty if I had won the oil to make it go back all the way to Europe again!
    And last but not least, Happy New Year!

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  6. I really like the new banner, it's fun and simple. I can understand having a nontraditional wedding, we had one too. I think it's important that on every couple's wedding day that they do it their way.

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  7. The new banner is great, the chicken looks succulent and the voodoo wedding is off the hook. Love.

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  8. YOu look lovely and make voodoo seem romantic and not scary... oh those hollywood zombie movies (although there's a cool Val Lewton one....) Chicken is indeed perfect and I haven't made one in ever so long.... time to try. I like the banner since I LOVE maple syrup. It is indeed clean and simple... your work speaks for itself! Happy New Years!

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  9. Your banner is brilliant. Happy New Year. I love your blog.

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing that chicken! Does look absolutely perfect! As do the two of you on your wedding day! Love the fact it's so different and special! Just my kind of thing really!!!
    A very Happy New year to both of you!

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  11. Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing your wedding photos!

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  12. voodoo is one thing I do not mess with mainly 'cause I'm scared of it, hoodoo on the other hand I can accept more at ease... as you know, I was brought up in a family that had many cooks and maids during my younger years, one of which I recalled practiced in voodoo and I think of listening to her, I fear some of it's practices...
    that said, I also know there are good and bad in every form of religion and practicing faiths...
    now, perfect chicken, one I could tear up in a minute and yes, I do so like the clean banner, noticed it immediately - so fresh for the start of a new year... best wishes for the start of this one

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  13. I'm new to your blog (thanks for the footnotes!), but I truly enjoyed your story! My daughter just did a 5th grade state report on Louisiana, and New Orleans was a big part of it. We have never visited, but it is high on her list of place to go!
    Lovely chicken as well...!

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  14. The new banner is perfect! It looks like it belongs on your blog. And, the chicken, YUMMM. We made Thos Keller's fried chicken this year. I think I'm going to buy Ad Hoc with an Amazon gift certificate I've got. Loved seeing the wedding photos :-) Happy New Year!!!

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  15. I was LMAO at "Poppa Trix is my husband, not my father!" That was too funny! And a voodoo wedding ... it's a scream. Only you can pull off something like that and make it look vogue.

    PS: LOVE the new banner. I want one like that too!!

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  16. Ooh, that crispy, joyous chicken looks mouthwatering, I must try Thomas Keller's method! I've never been able to roast chicken perfectly, it's either overcooked or still bleeding... arrrgh! Hopefully, after I've mastered this technique, my family will stop whining.

    I think your voodoo wedding was awesome and the ceremony actually looks quite mainstream. That Priestess Miriam rocks! Forgive my ignorance, but I've never been to one and only know of voodoo from some horror flicks I've seen. Thanks for opening my eyes on this... oh btw, I so love Poppa Trix's painting of you with the fan!

    As for the new banner? It's very familiar (those scones!), yet refreshing, a good start to 2011!

    A

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  17. The roast chicken sure does look perfect! Thanks for sharing the details of your wedding and the pictures, how fun. Your new banner looks awesome!

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  18. I was fascinated not bored and I loved to see your wedding photos. I hope the new year brings you continued health and happiness. Blessings...Mary

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  19. Oh wow! Thanks for sharing your wedding photos :) I like the banner... poppa trix is mighty creative

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  20. There really is nothing more beautiful and delicious than a perfectly roasted chicken. They say it's the test of a true cook, and I agree. This one looks incredible!

    Congrats on tying the knot!

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  21. Thank you for posting pictures -- what a great and unique way to get hitched! The chicken looks pretty good too...Theresa

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  22. The chicken looks perfect! It's one of our favorite family dinners. Your new banner is cute, I like it. I think your Voodoo wedding is so cool! We are also nontraditional people and ours was also not a typical wedding. You will always have such great memories and stories to tell of your unique and memorable wedding, congrats:)
    ( I have a couple of awards for you. If you participate in awards please stop by.)

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  23. GET. . . OUT! No way did you get married by a voodoo person! I am just rolling on the floor (not at the wedding photos--those are beautiful, truly), but of the pureness of your heart with all that offering you gave in your little basket--OMG, Trixie. So now I want to renew OUR vows: with voodoo!

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  24. OK I have 46 feeds to catch on and saw this first..CONGRATS on the cool wedding!

    Nice chicken, was it part of the sacrifice ;-)

    Happy New Year !

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  25. Trix, thanks for sharing your voodoo wedding with us! You guys looked like you had a fantastic time! :D

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  26. aww, thanks for sharing your wedding photos! you both look amazing! i love personalized weddings that are meaningful for the couple taking their vows.

    and the banner does look chic - great job!

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  27. I just had to come back and read more of your blog and now I'm hooked. HOOKED! (Someone must have put a spell on me?) My wedding was a little off the wall too (and even survived an attempt at annulment) so perhaps we will be fast friends. Anyway Ms. Trix I was given Ad Hoc at Home for Christmas...well...I had asked for it as a gift as I have been piecing it together from blog posts for awhile... and I had not thought to do this chicken...yet another chicken recipe? You know you are a good blogger when you can convince me to try out yet another Roast Chicken method! Bravo Ms. Trix!

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