Last Word

By Melissa Knox-Raab

As we embark on our second semester of Zoom conferences, social distancing, and FFP2 masks, I’m delighted to see one positive effect of the pandemic: those who have to sit home write more. When there’s nothing else to do, paper is remarkably patient. While no substitute for jovial dinner parties and casual encounters with friends, writing counters a remarkable number of everyday frustrations.

I also find cooking a pleasant way to forget COVID. Here’s one of my latest recipes. Call it “Boomer Chicken.”

Content warning: contains meat.

One corn-fed chicken
One pack of REWE fennel sausages
At least eight cloves of garlic
One or two red onions
Olive oil
Salt and pepper.

  1. Remove the bird from plastic-wrap. Season it—salt and pepper will do; any flavored salt is fine, too. Place the chicken in a dish and leave in the fridge overnight. You can omit this step if you’re in a rush, but the skin will be crispier if it spends the night in the fridge.
  2. Preheat oven to 220º. Remove skin from around eight garlic cloves. Set aside. Remove sausages from package. Slice each one into four or five pieces.
  3. Stuff chicken with garlic and sausages. Sew shut with twine, binding legs as well. Again, you can skip the twine if you’re in a hurry, but the bird will be more flavorful if you don’t. If not all the sausage and garlic cloves fit, that’s okay—they can mingle with the onions in the dish.
  4. Slice red onions into four-five pieces each. Put in a medium-size baking dish and add about a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Toss. Place the bird on top of the onions. Insert dish into pre-heated oven and let bake for about an hour (longer if it’s a big chicken). About halfway through, you can turn the chicken over, and if it looks like it’s getting too brown, place a sheet of aluminum foil over the chicken.
  5. Serve with white wine, the vegetable of your choice, and rice or potatoes.

Dr. Melissa Knox-Raab teaches American Literature and writing at the UDE. Read more of her work here:

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