garlic and thyme roasted chicken w/ crispy drippings croutons

*everyone who works at the dmv needs this meal

There it sits on the kitchen counter taunting me. The dreaded Drivers License Renewal. It's not the one where you look over all the info, cut them a check and mail it back to DMV and in a few weeks your new license comes.

Oh no, this is the one... where you have to go down to the DMV and cover one eye and do the eye sight exam.

This is the one... where you have to fight the teeming mass of humanity that is waiting in line, a line that snakes around the building.

This is the one... even though you thought to make an appointment (no one else did) you won't be helped right away even though you are on time because if the people who work at the DMV help you a riot will start at 9:00 AM. They already had the pitch forks ready to go when you went to the appointment line bypassing them all. If looks could kill you would have died 5 seconds before you even walked in the door. They could sniff the appointment on you like airport dogs smell for drugs. DMV where all the workers are miserable because the Governator has furloughed them 2 days a month without pay on account of the state of California is broke. What a way to make a job even more sucky because miserable doesn't even begin to describe it. (Maybe that should be The CA DMV slogan?)

This is the appointment at the DMV where... when you finally find a place to sit down the woman on your right is yelling at her allegedly cheating boyfriend on a cell phone. Dropping F bombs and crying all at once. (Lady, just dump his sorry ass). You have strong suspicion the man on your left just might have TB or maybe a case of the plague, he is looking rather grey and that handkerchief he keeps coughing into makes you want to gag. (Is my TB shot current?) You really start to question if you really need a drivers license. Maybe you could walk everywhere. Think of all the money you could save. No insurance, you wouldn't have to buy gas. You'd go green! Save the world! Just as you are about to walk out victorious and utterly convinced you do not need to be here, it dawns on you... you have kids that need to go places, you are suppose to go out of town to visit a friend soon. You need your drivers license. You slowly sink down back into your seat becoming deflated and resigned as everybody else at the DMV. You look at your little appointment slip with the Number FO11.

Please call my number FO11, please call FO11. Please call FO11.

Please call FO11 becomes your mantra.

"BO37 to window 8"


Garlic and Thyme Roasted Chicken With Crispy Drippings Croutons: (New York Times March 6, 2009)

Country bread, ciabatta or other sturdy bread, preferably stale, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, more as needed
2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more as needed
1 4- to 5-pound chicken, patted dry
1 garlic head, sliced in half horizontally, through the cloves
1 bay leaf
1/2 lemon
1/2 bunch thyme sprigs.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lay bread slices in a metal roasting pan in one layer. Drizzle liberally with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Rub 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper inside cavity of chicken. Stuff cavity with garlic, bay leaf, lemon and thyme. Rub outside of chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle all over with remaining salt and pepper. Place it breast side up on bread.

Roast chicken until it is deeply browned and juices run clear when thigh is pricked with a knife, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serve chicken with bread from pan.

Green Mashed Potatoes: (Mark Bittman NYT March 6, 2009)

2 large starchy or all-purpose potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into quarters
1 pound dandelion or other greens, washed and trimmed of thick stems
1/4 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup homemade bread crumbs
*splash of heavy cream
*parmesan cheese

Put potatoes in a large, deep pot and cover them with cold water. Add a large pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cook until soft but not falling apart, 15 to 30 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain; meanwhile, add greens to water and cook for about 1 minute. Rinse under cold water. Drain well, then chop.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rice potatoes, run them through a food mill, or mash them with a fork or potato masher, adding enough olive oil to moisten them well. Mash in the greens, adding more olive oil as needed. Sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper. *I added a splash of heavy cream here.

Put mixture in an ovenproof dish and top with bread crumbs and *I sprinkled some parmesan cheese here. Drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bake until bread crumbs are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve hot or warm.

Tasting Notes: I cooked both recipes exactly like it says, the only thing I did different is triple the potato recipe and added a splash of heavy cream and parmesan cheese. Five minutes into cooking the chicken the whole house smelled wonderful. The combination of the chicken and the bread was 'roll your eyes into the back of your head' good. Then the dandelions mixed in with the potatoes was wonderful. Everyone left the table contented and with a full and happy belly.


tamilyn said...

I don't know where you live, but here in MN, we can go to the local little DMV in any little town and it takes about 5 seconds. Of course, they are bitchy as all get out, but I only have to deal with them for 5 seconds. Maybe they need this meal and they won't be bitchy anymore?

Julia said...

I'm remembering that this is the year I need to renew my license and get the new eye exam. DRAT! Maybe I make the chicken the night before to put me in a zen mood?

tamilyn said...

Duh-governator-my be Cali!

ntsc said...

The NY DMV in the city used to be like that and no such thing as appointment either.

About 10 years ago they modernized and where I am a long wait is 30 minutes. They can deal with anything, including handing you new plates, in that period of time except the in-car exam and I haven't needed one of those (actually motorcycle) since 1973.

I've limited sympathy for any publically paid person. In NY their pensions are incredible and many get to double (or triple) dip. There are many very dubious disability pensions as well, the NYTimes has discovered one agency where 80+% of retired are on disability.

SaintTigerlily said...

I recently went to the DMV in NYC, probably the one NTSC mentions above...in order to slip a little further into my married name - it took about 30 minutes. I'm so sorry, F011.

In other news I need to make this recipe - stat. Thank you for giving me another great meal to look forward to you. You are the greatest.

ntsc said...

As I recall in Manhattan just north of the courts. The one in Brooklyn was far worse. I'm now in Rockland.

I find it amazing the number of people I find that frequent the same blogs that I do. Getting to know somebody else in yet a third person's comment section.

Cid said...

Don't know if it makes us any less safe or only less cranky, but up here in Ontario once you have your license you don't get checked, eyes or anything else, until you are 80.

SaintTigerlily said...

ntsc - Right? Fun.

(I went to the new "express" DMV near Macy's. The folks there had zero tude and I was in and out in a flash.)

Mental P Mama said...

I would rather deliver twins again than go to the DMV.

But I am going to make this chicken. That looks absolutely amazing.

Louise at Livin Local said...

Oh, do get used to this! Figure half of your little sous chefs will fail their written test, followed by the other half failing their driving test ... you will SO the DMV goddess before your kids move out. Meanwhile, we all sure appreciate the yummy meals!

Sippity Sup said...

nice stuff. Very edible. GREG

Phoo-D said...

Hi Krysta - Thanks for stopping by my blog! I've seen your comments on Mayberry and GoingCountry but never popped over. I've been missing out - your site is wonderful! Roast chicken must be in the air this week - I'm writing about one on Friday too. Yours looks wonderful. Ah the California DMV, all I have to do to imagine purgatory is just bring up those DMV memories....

noble pig said...

I was talking to the hubby about registering the cars in Oregon and oh gawd potentially having to take a test there for license..ugh! But the drippy croutons made it all better.

Undomestic Diva said...

PLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEASSSEEEEE come make me dinner. Your photos make me salivate. (Except for that one with the raw chicken with things stuffed up its cooch. I have issues with raw chickens - can't touch them; they feel like naked babies to me and the two times I've attempted to make one, I ended up crying over the kitchen sink, unable to put the naked baby - err, chicken - in the dang pan to cook it.) But other than THAT, mmmmmmm.... yummy!

Snooty Primadona said...

OMG! Your pictures are absolutely seductive. Sigh. And, judging by the description of the characters @ the DMV, I'm guessing you live in L.A. or somewhere close there by.

Did I mention my daughter works for bumpkus for the Hollywood Producer, lives in L.A. & babysits & whatnot in her free time? You two would so like each other, lol. Maybe you need to call her when things get really hectic. I'm so serious AND she needs guidance plus a little extra cash. Of course, she'd prefer to babysit for someone who pays $100 an hour, but she's flexible, lol. Email me if you're interested...

White on Rice Couple said...

Oh Krysta, how you crack me up!!! Let me count the ways....1 2 3 4... God I love your writing. Plus the damn good recipes, too. Thanks. Todd

Grace said...

all you had to do was say "crispy drippings" and i was yours for the taking. :)

Anonymous said...

Krispy drippings be damned, I'm not going to the DMV. I made middle take youngest last week and they still needed a parent, so they had to settle for the Old Goat since I was at work in a different county!
It's just too big of a slice of life for me!
But the chicken looks fabulous!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Roast chicken is one of my favorite things in the world. Garlic and thyme are one of my favorite ways to flavor it. (Although sage and orange is gaining in popularity with me lately). It's just hard for me to actually get a roast chicken to the table. I tend to start picking it apart as soon as it comes out of the oven. I start to carve it and I pick off another piece. Carve, pick, carve, pick, carve, pick. Maybe there are a few bites of breast left for my husband when I'm finished.

Croutons made with the drippings? I'm in love!

Lisa said...

I'm so glad you tried this--I was really curious and it sounds so good. Great photos!

Ulla said...

I love that recipe!:)

MrOrph said...

Yeah...I'm lucky, I don't have to renew my driver's license until the year 2028! Yay for me!

Serious comfort food right there. I love the green mash.

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

Ugh not that DMV notice! Whenever I have to go down there I go at the crack of dawn. I want to be 1st in line and 1st to walk in those doors so I can get it over with. It's worth the loss of sleep.

Good luck! This meal you posted looks delicious, btw. :)

Ginny said...

The DMV has to be one of my least favorite places in the world for the very reasons you describe. Ugh. Horrible place.

The chicken looks excellent, though. Looking forward to trying it.

Magpie said...

Mmm - thanks for the reminder - I'd loved the sound of that chicken when I saw it in the Times.

I haven't set foot in the DMV since I don't know when. I think they've given up testing, cost saving or something. I know that the photo on my license dates to the early nineties.

melissa said...

I loved this recipe when I came across it too. Look forward to making it. I love when you pave the way. ;)

And yes, the DMV sucks. Balls.

LilSis said...

I love a good roasted chicken recipe and your green potatoes look great! Thanks!

And, one reason I pay to be a AAA member is to use their DMV facilities. It's a much shorter wait and the employees aren't quite so grumpy!

vincent said...


We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM!!! YUM!!!.
We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
enjoy your recipes.

Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
and benefit from their exposure on Petitchef.com.

To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on "Add your site"

Best regards,


Mrs. L said...

Oh good lord, going to the DMV is like having your fingernails pulled out one by one while listening to paint dry. UGH!

Sweet Bird said...

I so, very badly, want to eat this right at this very moment.

Anonymous said...