It's simple, really. A roasted chicken recipe with garlic and thyme, a bit of vinegar, some wine, and a bit of elbow grease. And yet, somehow, it's the best chicken ever. This recipe comes from my friend, Gail, who never ceases to be a source of inspiration.
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Gail's Psycho Chicken
Gail's notes in italics
1 whole chicken (about 4 lbs)
~1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
~1 T garlic, pressed
~1 T cider or malt vinegar
dry white wine (Savignon blanc works well)
freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Clean chicken and remove giblets. Hack chicken all over with the tip of a sharp chef's knife to make gashes. (Invariably I find the music to the shower scene in Psycho running through my mind, thus the name, Psycho Chicken-- and lest you think I am thoroughly deranged, this manner of slash and season is actually very common in Cuban cooking.)
In a small bowl, mix together thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and vinegar, and slather liberally on chicken, taking care that mixture gets into slits in the meat. Place chicken on rack in roasting pan (if you don't have a rack, no biggie-- throw the thing directly into the pan) and roast about 2 hours until golden and fragrant, basting every twenty or thirty minutes with a splash of wine and any juices in the pan. Your house will smell wonderful.
Now this is the crucial part, which will make or break the entire dish: If this is cooked properly, your chicken should be running with wonderful juices as you carve. Dredge each slice of carved meat in those juices before placing on platter-- the juices are loaded with garlic and herb flavor.