A Hot Dinner.

I’m one of those people who can’t stand the heat.  In fact, the other day when Keith and I were talking about  a trip to Machu Picchu, he looked and me and said, “I don’t know if Machu Picchu would be a good vacation for you.”

“Why,” I asked, “because I’m not fit?”


“Because I’d have to dip myself in DEET?”

“You hate being hot,” Keith said.

It’s true.  Though the temperatures have dropped by twenty degrees yesterday, the past few days here in Boston have been scorchers, and I’ve spent every free second sitting irritably in front of a fan, moving as little as I can get away with.  Of course, the last thing I wanted to do Wednesday night was cook.  I wanted a dinner that took as little effort as possible, which is why I decided to roast a chicken.

I know it sounds crazy, jacking up the temperature in the kitchen with the heat from the oven, but as long as you hang out in another room with a fan and a cold drink while the meal cooks, it’s fine.  You won’t even notice the few extra degrees, and when you pull this bird out of the oven and take a look at its crispy gorgeous, there’s a chance you might forget about the sweat collecting in the small of your back.  And once you take a bite of the tender meat, you’ll see that there was nothing to complain about at all.

Oh, and I’m sorry for the picturelessness of this post.  The heat makes me hungry too.

Five-Spice Roast Chicken, from Bon Appétit
Makes four portions

4 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder*
1 cut-up chicken (8 pieces; about 3 ½ pounds)
1 large onion, peeled, cut into 16 wedges

  1. Combine garlic, salt, olive oil, and Chinese five-spice powder in large bowl. Add chicken pieces; turn to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 425°. Arrange onion wedges in 13x9x2-inch roasting pan. Arrange chicken, skin side up, atop onions. Roast until chicken is cooked through, basting occasionally with pan juices, about 50 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and let rest 10 minutes. Arrange chicken and onions on platter and serve.