On birthdays

I turned 24 as the clock struck twelve (SG time, to be exact), and it was a quiet moment in history. Almost like most other nights, really.

So this is it, my foray into adulthood counting for so little, and it does make me sad. I suppose this is also the thin line we thread when we blog (publicly) – how much of our selves do we choose to reveal? I write this because I am a believer of authenticity, and like it or now, happy birds have good days and bad ones as well. This one just happens to be on my birthday.

But in this season of sadness and singularity, I cook. I cook on good days, and I will certainly cook on dark ones. I chose to cook dinner earlier for my parents and the granny tonight; my very own way of giving thanks for these 8,395 days of daylight and grace.


Bird-day Roast

*Feeds 4 abundantly

1 small chicken (I used a “kampong” one; less fat, more bite)

1/2 lemon

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

4-5 sprigs fresh thyme

7-10 small Holland potatoes

2 carrots

1 handful of raisins

olive oil

sea salt


mixed seasoning of oregano, dried tomato and red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (190 should do the job as well). Prep the vegetables as the oven warms up – scrub the potatoes clean (I left the skins on for the crunch), peel the carrots, and dice the potatoes into quarters and carrots into 1cm x 1cm chunks (starting by slicing them diagonally from one end). In the baking pan, toss the vegetables in olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, another 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and the seasoning mix.

Prep the chicken by removing the head, innards and feet, then washing the remaining bird thoroughly. Pat dry, and rub 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of salt and pepper onto its cavity. When done, stuff the chicken with the lemon, rosemary and thyme. Lather olive oil all over the bird like you would a kid in a bath, and place it on top of the vegetables. Some recipes would call for you to tie the feet together with twine (which I didn’t because I made a rookie mistake and took off too much of the feet), but that’s not really necessary in my opinion.

Roast the birrrd for 65-70 minutes, and at the 60th minute, sprinkle the raisins all over the base of the pan (i.e. on top of the vegetables). To ensure that your bird is fully cooked, the juices should run over freely and the thickest part of the thigh ought to be easily pierced with a fork (or that the meat falls off the bone easily). Let it rest (will discuss why and if needed in another post) and serve in due time. The dish was a big hit with my folks/granny, which made everything all better for a bit.

Sorry the wit is in short supply here; promise you’ll see her back kicking butt in a bit. Truth be told, there were some tears shed in the early hours of the day. But just as salt is always good for a dish, salty tears lend strength and fortitude in their own queer ways.

As the morning wakes x


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