As I do every January, I get the itch to clean out every nook and cranny of my house. Because I’m pretty busy, this is a slow process, tackling maybe a closet or room every few days. Sometimes, I only get to a drawer or shelf, but still, it’s therapeutic.
What does this have to do with food you ask? The first things I clean out are the pantry, refrigerator and freezer. That makes for a full week of cooking what we’ve stored for the winter to make room for a fresh new season.
Out of the freezer came a fresh, locally raised chicken I’d frozen while we feasted at our family members’ homes over the holidays. I decided to roast it because I had some dry brine from Red Stick Spice Co. left over from roasting my Thanksgiving turkey, and because I hadn’t quite gotten over how good it was.
Brined in this mix of salt, sage, rosemary and garlic then roasted with aromatics of Louisiana oranges, onion slices and fresh rosemary sprigs, this chicken is an excellent dish to wean yourself off holiday spreads and back onto the usual Saturday supper.
Next, I came across a couple quarts of heirloom beans I had frozen from a late-summer trip to the farmers market.
These were Taylor’s Horticultural beans. I had blanched them then frozen them in quart-sized bags.
If you do find some of these creamy beans, they are also excellent dried then revived in soups and more. These beans, and several other varieties you may find hiding behind the ice cream, are delicious cooked low and slow. Add some smoky flavor with some seasoning (mostly fatty) bacon, also saved in the freezer for just the right pot of beans and a rainy day.
Now that I’ve gotten the pantry, refrigerator and freezer under control, I guess I better get to that closet.
At least I have a nice pot of beans and a juicy roasted chicken as a reward.