The running “joke” with my in-laws is that I don’t know how to cook—or at least, I didn’t. Most of the blame for this urban legend lands squarely on Dman, who didn’t appreciate the raw vegan recipes I whipped up for him when we started dating. Granted, there’s not much “cooking” when you’re a raw vegan. It’s mainly chopping. But I’ve been cooking and baking since I was 10 years old. Because I love to eat. In case it’s not common knowledge, Korean girls pack it away like someone’s paying them to.
Back to the cliché of the daughter-in-law who’s an awful cook. When I was pregnant with little D, my chef sister-in-law said she’d give me a cooking lesson. Maybe she was afraid the kid would starve if I didn’t learn a couple recipes. Since this was early into the marriage and I was still trying to make a good impression (that ship has since sunk), I feigned surprise at the concept of zesting a lemon and pretended I had no idea how to smash a garlic clove. (So the rest of the blame lands on me, but I thought I was being polite by not acting like a know-it-all in the kitchen.)
However, that day I did learn the recipe for the Buñuel Family Roast Chicken, handed down by Dman’s grandmother, who was an Olympic bronze medalist in gymnastics! Easy, versatile and so delicious, it’s the only roast chicken recipe you need to learn. Once you do, you can make it with your eyes closed and people (even the in-laws) will think you’re a fantastic cook.
The Buñuel Family Roast Chicken
- 1 Organic Chicken, 2-3 kilos
- 2-3 Organic Lemons
- 1-2 Heads of Garlic
- 1 Bunch of Rosemary (or mint, thyme, sage)
- 1 cup of wine (white or red)
- 1/2-1 cup of water
- Salt & Pepper
- Preheat oven to 360 degrees F (180 degrees C).
- Rinse the chicken and pat it dry.
- Place it in a roasting pan or a cocotte.
- Liberally add salt and pepper all over the chicken.
- Quarter the lemons and stuff some inside the bird. Squeeze one or two quarters over the bird, leave the rest in the pan.
- Break open the garlic. No need to peel. Place some cloves inside the bird, under the skin and in the pan. If you're a garlic fiend like me, use two heads because one is not enough!
- Stuff the rosemary (or other herbs) inside the chicken. Leave some in the pan.
- Pour the wine over the bird. Pour the water into the pan. Add more water until there's about an inch in the pan.
- Add more salt and pepper to the bird.
- Place it in the oven for about 90 minutes. About 45 minutes into cooking, flip the bird carefully so breast side is down in the liquid. Cook another 30 minutes this way. Then flip it back breast side up.
- Cook until juices run clear or the inside temp is 165 degrees F (75 degrees C). Basting is optional and usually unnecessary because cooking the bird breast-side down keeps the white meat juicy.
- Variations: You can add chopped carrots and potatoes to cook with the chicken for a full, one-pot meal.