Gwenyth Paltrow has written a cook book. Damn her. It isn't enough that she's an academy-award winning actress who can sing and is married to a hot rock star; she also apparently knows her way around a kitchen too. So much so that she's published a cook book. On the cover jacket, she is standing all perfect and gorgeous in a kitchen that is all perfect and gorgeous, and the photo doesn't bear even the slightest suggestion of being air-brushed. She is living my fantasy life and getting to do it in a tall slender blond body. Life is so unfair.
Fortunately, I had the good sense not to draw little Hitler-esque mustaches on her face. Instead, I picked up a copy and started flipping through it. Turns out that aside from her almost religious-like belief in all things organic, and an aversion to red meat, we share much of the same philosophy about food and cooking. She believes that what you eat is as much about the food as it is about your stories. Of course, she being a Hollywood actress born to Hollywood actors, her stories are a lot more glamorous than mine. She can offer "Playwright's Patty Melt," which is a cheese covered sandwich served to her mother by some renowned playwright while her mother was, you know, acting on Broadway, and getting a Tony. In my family, we have "U.S. Army Creamed Beef on Toast" that was served to my father while he sat in a foxhole in Korea getting a Purple Heart. But you get the picture. Like me, she believes that her stove is the "epicenter" of her home and that most good food is very simple to make. Gwyneth believes that you should stir a pot with one hand so that you can hold a glass of wine in the other. In short, she believes that cooking should be fun. She's my kind of gal--even if part of me still wants to scratch her eyes out for being so nauseatingly perfect.
And because she is perfect, this simple slow cooked chicken was amazing:
Nine and a Half Hour Chicken
By Gwenyth Paltrow
1. Take one organic chicken, place it in a roasting pan to which you have added: one lemon, halved; a few sprigs of thyme; a couple cloves of whole peeled garlic; salt and pepper.
2. Cover with foil and roast it in a 200 degree oven for 9 1/2 hours.
3. Serve it to your beautiful rock star husband and adorable children.
Candidly, I didn't have 9 1/2 hours; I'm not that organized. Perhaps if I had a nanny, a housekeeper, a gardener, and a stylist, I might be able to get my act together--but there I go getting all snarky about Gwenyth again. Here's a short-cut for us moms on the run: do the exact same thing as Gwenyth, but skip the organic chicken and use a factory-farmed, but decidedly cheaper roaster, and instead of putting the chicken in the oven, put it in your crock pot at the low setting for about 5 hours. Try not to look too jealously pained when your husband asks you where you got the recipe because this is the best damn chicken he's had in years.