Eat Me

Mad Gay Skillz: Make One Great Meal

roast_chicken_2Rumor has it that us homosexuals are gifted with certain abilities: An innate sense of design, the ability to know the hottest parties in town, a gift for knowing exactly the right relationship advice to give at the right time. Of course, this is total B.S. There are plenty of gays out there who don’t know the difference between Prada or Miu Miu, would rather watch Battlestar Galactica on a Friday night than go out and are totally out of touch with their inner-Oprah. Still, we have a rep to maintain and to help you out Queerty introduces Mad Gay Skillz– your go-to guide for staying fabulous.

In future installments, we’ll help you build a wardrobe, plan the perfect getaway and find the perfect wine to pair with that cheese, but to get things rolling, let’s head to the kitchen.

They say the way to a man’s heart is his stomach, but for many of us, the kitchen is little more than a place to reheat meals and blend smoothies. You don’t need to be a Top Chef to impress, however. All you need is the ability to make one dish well and after years of practice and experimentation, we have a surefire hit– something easy to make, healthy and impressive– a roasted chicken.

Chicken gets a bad rap. We see it so often, as skinless breasts on salads or as fried nuggets from the fast food counter, that we take it for granted. Done properly, a roast chicken is worthy of a feast– and delightfully simple.

Find a chicken– no, not that kind…

First, you’ll need your chicken. You want to get a whole bird, not just because it looks cool, but because the bones will help flavor the bird. A fryer works well for two people. If you’re serving more, resist the temptation to buy a bigger bird. The larger the bird is, the longer it takes to cook. Instead, you can buy multiple birds, assuming you have enough space in the oven.

The wonderful thing about roasted chicken is that it almost doesn’t require a recipe. At the store, you’ll want to pick up some garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper, an onion and some herbs. I recommend rosemary. It’s sweet and pungent and adds a lot of flavor. If you really want to be showy, pick up an orange. You can use the zest as a seasoning. Also, to make your bird a meal, pick up some roasting vegetables. Yams, potatoes or carrots make good choices. Finally, pick up a bottle of cheap white wine. Dry wines like pinot gris or sauvignon blanc are best, but a chardonnay can do in a pinch.

Dress your chicken in love (and pepper)

Once home, you’ll want to take the bird out and rinse it off. Scoop into the bird’s cavity and pull out the bag of giblets. These are the organs of the bird and if you’re squeamish, you can just throw them out, however, the adventurous will want to reserve them to the side. Once rinsed, pat the bird dry with paper towels. This is probably the most important step in the whole process. If the bird is wet, all your seasoning will slide right off and the skin won’t crisp up.

Once dry, take an onion and slice it in quarters and put it inside the bird, then add your rosemary, or whatever herb you decided to use and stuff it in as well. These are called ‘aromatics’ and they slowly flavor the bird while it cooks.

Make garlic oil.

picture-123Next, take a cup of olive oil and put it in a small saucepan. Grab your clove of garlic and peel it apart. A cool trick you can do is to take the clove and smash it with the flat end of knife. This will break away the skin from the clove and save you a lot of time. Once you’ve done this to the whole bulb, chop it up finally and dump it in the olive oil.

Put the olive oil and garlic mixture on a burner set to the lowest heat your oven allows. A whole bulb of garlic might seem like a lot, but as it slowly heats, the garlic abandons its pungent flavor and becomes something sweet and almost caramel-like. Keep the garlic oil mixture on the burner until the garlic turns a pale gold, then set it aside.

Fun with vegetables

In the meantime, set your oven for 450 degrees. Take a roasting pan and lightly cover the bottom of it with a film of the garlic oil. Now, add the vegetables you want to roast and put it in the oven to bake.

Grease your chicken.

While the vegetables start cooking, season the bird with salt and paper on both sides. Now, strain the garlic from the oil you made. You’re only going to use a little bit of the oil, but you can keep it for future meals. Take the remaining garlic and mash it up till it’s a thick gooey paste. Smear this paste all over the top of the bird, then brush the rest of the bird with the garlic oil. By substituting olive oil for butter, you’ve significantly reduced the fat of the meal, which will make the hot guy who goes to the gym that you’re trying to impress all the happier.

The part where you get your chicken all hot and bothered.

windowslivewriterspicyroastchicken-57e9spicy-roast-chicken1Now, take the roasting pan out of the oven. If you have a roasting rack, place it in the pan. If not, don’t worry: Take two balls of aluminum foil and place them in the pan. They’ll keep the bird from siting directly in the pan, letting the juices flow away.

Now, put the bird in the pan. You can tuck the wings under the flaps of skin they’re connected to, but while traditionalist might want to tie the birds legs together, there’s really no point.

Put the bird in the oven at 450 degrees and let it cook for 25 minutes. If you saved your giblets, throw them in the pan, too. Don’t worry, you won’t eat them. They’re just there for flavor. Then, lower the the temperature to 350 and bake for 45 minutes.

The real secret to a perfectly cooked bird is to get a probe thermometer. They cost five bucks and you should own one. Once the bird reached 170 degrees, it’s done.

The other big secret is to let the bird rest for ten minutes once it’s out of the oven. All those juices will run if you cut the bird immediately, but if you give it a few minutes to cool down, you’ll be guaranteed moist, tender meat.

This part sounds fancy, but it’s easy.

deglaze_1While you’re waiting for the bird to cool, take the roasting pan and put it on top of your oven burners. If you haven’t taken the vegetables out yet, now is the time. What you should have is a mess of juice, dark burned bits and if you decided to keep them, the giblets. Turn on your burners to high and let this mess start sizzling. Don’t be afraid of the char; it’s your friend. Now, take a half cup of your white wine and add it to the pan, while using a spatula to scrape up all the browned bits. After a few moments, the alcohol will have burned of and you’ll be left with an amber golden pan sauce. Congratulations, you’ve just learned how to deglaze!

All that’s left is for you to carve the bird up, put the veggies on the plate and spoon your pan sauce over the whole thing. Bring it to the table, feign that it was a huge ordeal and wait for the praise to come at you. Eh, screw the praise– with candlelight, a bottle of wine and this meal, expect the dessert to be on him.

While this dish doesn’t require a recipe, if you feel more comfortable with one, here’s the original recipe this dish was adapted from. We really recommend omitting the butter, though.

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  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    “Once dry, take an onion and slice it in quarters and put it inside the bird, then add your rosemary, or whatever herb you decided to use and stuff it in as well.”

    Citrus works well, too. A whole orange, or lemon infuses the chicken quite nicely.

    “Take the remaining garlic and mash it up till it’s a thick gooey paste. Smear this paste all over the top of the bird, then brush the rest of the bird with the garlic oil.”

    Personally, I like to rub the herbs and garlic under the skin, rather than on the skin, because it flavors the meat better, as well as the skin, and doesn’t burn as it would exposed to the heat. Don’t forget to get under the skin on the thighs.

    If you choose to spread the garlic and herbs on the skin, I’ve found that roasting the bird breast side down works great. The juices from the entire bird fall down through the meat and keep the breast very tender and helps keep the rest of the bird dryer. And of course you can then use the back and neck for a quick and light chicken soup. Unless your love loves him some chicken necks. In which case, serve him and let him suck away, as a preview of what’s–or who’s–going to come later.

    “If you have a roasting rack, place it in the pan. If not, don’t worry: Take two balls of aluminum foil and place them in the pan.”

    I like to make a rack from whole celery stalks and carrots, peeled of course, and rest the chicken on top of these. It works as a great aromatic and flavors the gravy as well. You can also choose to add them to your vegetable side, but I just toss them after they’ve done their work.

    “Once the bird reached 170 degrees, it’s done.”

    Noting that the thigh meat should be 170, not the breast. The breast will cook quicker than the thighs.

    “Now, take a half cup of your white wine and add it to the pan”

    Just a half cup? Where’s the rest of the bottle go :)

    If your partner would prefer to avoid alcohol, (yes I know the alcohol will burn off, but some people just don’t like booze,) you can use another acid like apple juice–good juice, not over sweet crap sold to kids–or again a citrus, orange being better, and water.

    “All that’s left is for you to carve the bird up”

    Since you didn’t mention it, here’s a link showing how to carve a bird, from Delia Smith no less:,36,AR.html

    I like this feature. It turns Queerty form just a gay blog into a lifestyle site.

  • Keith

    FYI — butter and olive oil have exactly the same amount of fat in them. Exactly. Substituting olive oil for butter will NOT lower the fat content of this dish. Olive oil is a healthier fat, so your heart will thank you, but your love handles will stay the same regardless of which fat you use.

  • Aaron

    Miu Miu is Prada’s more “youthful” line. However, I don’t know where the hottest parties in town are. Most of my weekends are spent on the couching playing Wii in my pajamas. I do have a Barney’s card though.

  • urbanfoodguy

    If you’re interested in food read my blog

    Everything from recipes to politics. Check it out.

  • Jonathan

    Here’s a bit of a riff — with a desert that will blow him away (before you do).

    Clean the bird as per Japhy.

    Omit the garlic, no need for it. Quarter a medium onion. shove it in the cavity. Roll a lemon on your kitchen counter until it gets slightly squishy. Punture it all over with a fork and put it in the cavity. sprinkle cracked pepper and kosher salt over the bird and in the cavity. Roast as per Japhy.

    Deglaze as per Japhy.

    Serve with steamed vegetables of a salad.

    Now for desert. Leave the oven at the same 375 that was used for the chicken. Butter a soufle pan. add a tablespoon of sugar to the pan and roll it around so the sugar coats the butter all over and up the sides. Melt two chocolate bars in a pan over low simmering water.

    While the chocolate is melting, separate three eggs into yolks and whites. Beat the yolks with a 1/4 cup of sugar until they change from dark yellow to very light yellow and is perfectly smooth (3-5 mins).

    Wash off the blender blades very carefully — all traces of yolk must be gone. Beat the whites with a pinch of salt until they form soft peaks. If you beat them too long they will form still peaks and then will start to become runny again. Don’t let that happen.

    Add 1/3 of the melted chocolate to the yolk mixture. Mix in. Then add the rest of the yolk mixture to the chocolate. Mix in. Then add 1/3 of the white mixture to the chocolate and mix it in gently so that it is completely incorporated. Then gently add the rest of the chocolate and yolk mix to the egg whites. Fold them in gently. They don’t have to be completely mixed. The idea is to get them mixed together, but not to collapse the whites.

    You can refrigerate this mixture in the soufle dish until 20 minutes before you’re ready for desert. Pop the soufle in the oven at 375, and take it out after 20 minutes. It should have puffed up, but the center should still be soft. Serve it immediately as it collapses.


  • Jonathan

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: Fantastic suggestions. I really like to use preserved lemons and a cumin based spice rub… but then I grow and preserve my own lemons in Baltimore (grin — I guess I am a complete fag).

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    “but then I grow and preserve my own lemons in Baltimore”

    Are you serious, Jonathan? I can’t even grow parsley and that stuff would grow on concrete :(

    My sister’s B-day is on Thursday and I’m definitely taking your chocolate soufflé. She loves my daffodil cake, but I’ve never tried a proper soufflé before. Would I be able to use a dark chocolate, or should it be a milk chocolate? Thanks for the recipe :)

  • easyguy

    Ok, why do you need to use an entire cup of olive oil when you only brush a little bit on the bird. A quarter cup would be more than enough, and would give a fuller, less diluted garlic flavor.
    Also, one should note that the internal temperature will continue to rise several degrees after the bird is out of the oven. A breast at over 170 is pretty much rubber.
    Like most recipes, this one assumes too much prior knowledge on the part of the beginner. How many of them will put the thermometer in the breast and end up wasting their time and money, as well as missing an opportunity to impress a date with a good meal?

  • Treat me right

    …and I will share my Chicken recipe.

  • Jonathan

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: Dark is fine… It’s not a very sweet soufle… and you might add an extra egg… that is separate 4 eggs…

  • Jonathan

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: And, yes. I am serious about the lemons… also do preserved kumquats…

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)


    Preserved lemons….oh why am I so jealous of you!

    I adore cumin and use it with so much stuff..

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones:

    Yeah under the skin is so muc better…

    Also try sparkling white wine or champagne instead of jus white wine…gives the jus a lighter flavour but a touch more bitter…really good!

Comments are closed.