Greene Family Farm Roasted Chicken from The Walking Dead
Dwight: C’mon…you weren’t going to eat that whole thing by yourself, were you?
Comic Book | The Walking Dead - Here’s Negan
I shouldn’t have been surprised that a Walking Dead cookbook exists, seeing as the brand is on just about everything at this point. The book consists of recipes inspired (often directly) by the AMC television show, not the comics. Overall, I was a bit underwhelmed by the recipes therein. But there are a few that I knew I would like to try, such as this Greene Family Farm Roasted Chicken recipe, which involves using kitchen shears (to remove a spine) and bricks as a cooking utensil. That was enough to get me interested in trying it out.
- 1 whole chicken (spatchcocked)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon rosemary, chopped very finely
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon marjoram, chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Fresh herbs for the pan
Any written description of how to spatchcock a chicken is a bit lacking, I believe, so I went ahead and filmed a video of just how to do it. It’s an easier process than I imagined, though it is a bit gruesome. I guess if you want to eat it, you should at least be willing to minimally process it.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Mix together 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the fresh herbs, salt and pepper. Using your hands, rub this all over the chicken. Heat an ovenproof skillet (such as cast iron) over medium-high heat with the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil. When the pan is nearly smoking, add the chicken skin side down.
Put a second large skillet on top of the chicken and add the foil-covered bricks. Make sure the weight is evenly distributed, or the skin will crisp up only in the center. Turn the heat down to low and let the skin crisp for 20 minutes. You’ll hear a lot of bubbling and boiling action – this is normal. After 20 minutes, check to see that the skin is golden brown and crackly throughout. If it’s not, recover and cook for another 10 minutes.
Carefully loosen the crispy skin from the bottom of the pan before flipping the chicken over. Add the crushed garlic cloves and sprigs of fresh herbs. Transfer the chicken to the oven to finish cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the juices run clear and it is cooked through. Let rest for 5 minutes before carving and serving.
As you might imagine (and tell from the pictures), it’s difficult to cook the chicken evenly when you’re smashing one half by weighing it down with bricks. I tried to make sure that the skin didn’t cook too fast, but given the choice between the two, I opted to cook the bird thoroughly at the expense of some of the presentation. But despite a singed look, the meat was actually very tender, juicy, and tasty. If I try this dish again, I’ll turn the temperature on the stove top burner down even further, even though it’ll draw out the cooking time.
My expectations for a recipe like this were probably too high, seeing as I was cooking a recipe from what amounted to, in some ways, a survivalist cookbook. But the picture looked good, and the recipe looked interesting and easy enough, so I gave it a shot. I wasn’t disappointed in the result, and the chicken was very moist and tasty, but I wasn’t blown away by it either. I’d give it a solid, yeoman-like 7/10, which may translate a little bit higher if you’re ever cooking during the apocalypse. I’d try it again, if only to see if I could get it to present a little better.
Now On Sale
Here’s Negan! Graphic Novel
Creators: Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn, Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics
The Walking Dead creative team has decided to double down on all things Negan, one of a series of villains to plague the survivors of a zombie apocalypse in both the comic book and television series iteration. It’s hard to blame them for cashing in while they can, because after fifteen years and eight seasons, it seems like maybe a little fatigue is setting in with the franchise. Though it’s important to note that the property is still more successful than almost any other comic book-inspired franchise outside of Marvel and DC.
“Here’s Negan!” is a story originally serialized in Image Comics’ trade magazine. Its 16 chapters collected for the first time in 2017, and it goes to great pains to tell the story of the titular character from his time before the plague to the point he fully embraces his role in the new world. The story reads like an origin tale for Negan’s bat, jacket, and barbed wire accessories, and I think it’s fair to wonder if anyone was really asking for this type of story in the first place. And yet I bought the collection soon after it came out, just as I continue to buy each volume of the regular series. So if the concept has reached critical mass, I suppose that it hasn’t registered with me quite yet.
Lastly, here’s a chicken game: