OK…let’s stop fooling around here. I know I have brought out the “big guns” before…but now it’s time for the Howitzer. Last night’s 8-6 loss brought a sense of urgency back to the World Series and now it’s time to come home and put it away. I have one name…and it’s the one that I feel can bring #27 back to the Bronx…Shirley Gabriner! Shirley Gabriner is a dear family friend and she is our ace in the hole. She is a beloved wife, mother and aunt, a real Brooklynite, hosts the best (and only) Seder I have ever been to and is one of the most knowledgeable and fanatical Yankee devotees I know. I visit Shirley for several reasons…not the least is that she is one of the cutest human beings on the planet…but mostly to eat great food and talk Yankee baseball.
Second guessing managers, general managers, umpires, ARod’s women…anything Yankees…Shirley knows her stuff…One of my fondest memories is of the weekend I spent with Shirley and her family when the Yankees spanked the Red Sox in that 5 game series in August 2006. If there is such a thing as a lucky charm…Shirley is it.
Shirley is a no-nonsense fan and cook. The idea that there is a recipe for roasted chicken is foreign to her..Recipe?…she always says “let’s just put a nice chicken in the oven.” And it’s a favorite meal no matter when served….or what it’s served with. What follows here is an approximation of what Shirley’s niece, Penny, guesstimates as the family recipe. I am including a variation that deviates from Shirley’s “recipe” that Penny shares as a family favorite…Beer Can Chicken.
Penny chimes, “roast chicken is a family tradition for any occasion. It is especially well suited to a pre-Series game meal…..or a during the game dinner (you take it out of the oven and serve during commercials)….or a “We Won!” celebration. Who wants to cook all day when you are partying?”
I’m posting this one a day in advance and calling all Yankee loving SundaySaucers to make this one in unison to nail this thing down…Andy is going on short rest…the critics are all over Girardi…Tex is waving at balls he usually crushes…but being a fan is about faith and Shirley represents all that is good about faithful fans…let’s honor her…the Yankees…and ourselves by getting over the top and bringing it home. Go Yanks!
Aunt Shirley’s “Non-Recipe” Roasted Chicken Recipe
3 1/2 lb chicken [remove giblets, rinse and pat dry]
1 Large onion
1 Large Carrot or apple
Few Celery sticks
Lawery’s Season Salt
Fresh ground pepper
Bells poultry seasoning
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Season chicken well inside and out with all seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic powder, and poultry seasoning). Place a chunk of onion and a celery stick inside the cavity (and/apple if you like). Cut up remaining vegetables and place in a medium roasting pan…..or shallow baking pan. Place chicken in pan on top of veggies (you’ll serve them later). Sprinkle with paprika and roast for about an hour to an hour and a half….basting occasionally with pan juices (add a little olive oil if it seems too dry). Let sit for about 10 minutes….and cut up and serve.
Special Yankee Lovers Variation
(not Shirl’s….but a family favorite)
Open a can of beer and pour out about half (you can drink this while cooking)….be sure you take the top of the can completely…with a can opener
Prepare chicken as above, but don’t stuff with onion or apple
Place opened beer can in the middle of the roasting pan. Sit seasoned chicken on top of the beer can….it will look like it’s a chicken standing up at attention…about to salute
Fold wing flaps back….and sprinkle seasoning on the top of the bird
Place on low rack in the oven and roast as above
Baste with beer…. during commercial breaks (or when the Yanks are up by 4 runs)
When juices in leg run clear (sign that the chicken is done) remove roasting pan from oven and let chicken rest on the can for about 10 minutes before lifting off to carve (OR just let hungry baseball fan rip/cut off pieces of the standing beer can bird as they get hungry)
Other note: You can cook two chickens at a time in most ovens….just need to turn up the heat a bit.
Also, you can start the chicken at 400 or 425….and turn down to 375 part way if you think it looks like it’s burning a bit.
Penny adds, “I know this isn’t a real recipe…..but real Yankee fans don”t need no stinkin” recipes!”