When The Dust Settles

Three years ago we decided that our family needed more space. We were out growing our wonderful home at the edge of Harvard Square and steps to the Charles River. We took the plunge and moved to another great house, in a very close-knit neighborhood, on the other side of Harvard Square. In my father words, we went from the 02139 zip code to the lace-curtain section of 02138.
I grew up in Cambridgeport (02139) on a little street, which, at the time, was the not a nice section of Cambridge. I lived in a big three family house. My Grandparents lived on one side of the house, we lived on the other and my Uncle, Aunt and Cousin lived above us. In ten steps, I would be in my Grandparents kitchen without even letting my mother know where I was going. I spent many evenings watching TV with my Grandfather. He sat in his faux blue velvet La-Z-Boy chair and I sprawled out on the couch. We would snack on candy that filled a lazy Susan on their dining room table.  We watched shows like, Laurence Welk and Barney Miller. My Grandmother would stay in the dining room handicapping the next day’s racing form.
Getting back to houses, just recently, the house RIGHT NEXT DOOR to my parents went on the market. Big Daddy and I bought it! The backyard pretty much connects with my parent’s backyard. Call me a mama’s girl or what ever you want, but I made the decision (Big Daddy graciously came on board quickly figuring out the benefits) entirely based on the fact that my two little angels would have the same opportunity as I did growing up. Ten steps away from their Grandparents kitchen!
We are now beginning our journey through the nightmare process of house renovation. It is not the first time Big Daddy and I have renovated a house together but hopefully it will be the last. The process certainly is a testament to the power of those wedding vows that we recited to each other!  Will it be “until death due us part” or until the sledgehammer finds it way to your head? What is it about renovation or even a trip to Home Depot that brings out the worst in people?
My new kitchen!!! Uuuuugggghhhh!
On top of everything else I HATE CHANGE! I don’t know what it is, the memories of first, second and third birthday parties or my astrological sign, but change is a big deal to me. I did pretty well with the last move until the first morning in our new house. As usual, when fixing up a house the time line ALWAYS changes. We were forced to move in and our kitchen was three weeks from being finished. We had to use the disgusting sink in the basement and the grill to cook all of our meals. There I was, sitting on the one piece of furniture in the living room, having a cup of coffee, which I had brewed on the grill, crying away! I have a very strong feeling that come July 26th,  2010 most of our meals will be cooked in our new backyard.  Coffee will come from the neighbor’s house!
This Lemon Chicken is sooooo good! It only takes 40 minutes on the grill thanks to cutting out the backbone. You could just roast it in the oven but it is June! Make a cocktail and get out and grill! I love lemon with chicken. I thought about adding some aromatics.  Rosemary? Maybe a little fresh marjoram? Parsley? Nope! I just wanted lots of lemon and garlic! 
Lemon Chicken on the Grill

3 lemons (rind, juice and lemon carcus!)
Coarse Sea Salt and Pepper
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3 big cloves of garlic, chopped
1 3-4lb chicken, backbone removed and flattened (see below)

I think flattening a chicken is such a wonderful way of cooking it. Every bit of skin gets crisp and it takes way less time to cook. IT IS NOT HARD TO FLATTEN A CHICKEN! DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED! Warning pictures are not for the faint hearted!

1. Flip chicken over so backbone is facing up.
2. Using a pair of kitchen shears start on one side of the back bone and cut down through ribs. The bones are very small and it is easy to do. 
3.  When you are finish cutting down one side then start the other. Hold the end of back bone as you cut.

You will be left with this!
4. Take a sharp knife and give the breast bone a little crack!
I REPEAT THIS IS NOT HARD!!!
5. Give it one more flip and flatten with the palms of your hands. Done!
6. Put the flattened chicken in a shallow baking dish and coat with the olive oil, lemon juice, chopped garlic, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes. The longer the better.
7. Put it bone side down on the grill and top with all of the lemon rinds. Low flame to medium on gas grills. If using a webber or other charcoal grill shift to the side where heat is less intense. Cover and let cook 15 minutes. Flip to skin side and place the lemon rinds back on top. Cover grill and cook 15 minutes. Flip back onto bones (sometimes the chicken will fall apart it’s ok just pile it together) let it cook covered for the last 10 minutes. Let the chicken rest a few minutes before carving.

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s