Eastside Road, December 21, 2012—WELL, IT TURNED OUT that co-grandfather is a vodka drinker, not gin: so we put the ginvent calendar on hold. He stayed to dinner, though, so we roasted a chicken. I rinsed it and salted it inside and out, then stuck a Meyer lemon inside it, and sprigs of rosemary under the skin on the breast.
Judy Rodgers has the simplest, most fail-proof approach to roasting a chicken: Preheat the oven and the rack to between 450 and 500 degrees; roast the bird twenty to thirty minutes breast side up; turn it over for another ten to twenty minutes; turn it back to the original position for another five to ten. The bird should brown and begin sizzling in the first fifteen to twenty minutes; if sooner, reduce the heat a bit.
(For more detail, get and read The Zuni Café Cookbook: it's an important basic reference.)
With the chicken, romanesco, cranberry sauce, and the best little farmers-market potatoes we've had this year, roasted in the oven. Green salad afterward.
Cabernet sauvignon, Simi, 2000: a little over the hill, but sound (thanks, Kendall)