Paperback Writer!!!!!!

I haven’t been toiling over a hot stove today.  No, I’ve been toiling over a cold keyboard.  Between you and me, the keyboard is harder.

This is my simple way of saying (drum roll please) that I have signed a book contract with Storey Publishing.  Well, that’s not true either.  I’ve signed three book contracts with Storey. In their infinite wisdom, they want me to write three cookbooks for them.  These will be the first three books in their new Kitchen Basics series.  120 pages of how to do stuff in your kitchen.  The first two books will be available next Spring. One will be about knives.  The other for next Spring is about vinegars and infused oils.  And the third, just in time for the ’14 holidays, will be on chocolate candies.

So, what’s it like to be a first-time cookbook author?  Well, after the euphoria leaves, there’s 10 minutes of grateful reflection.  Which has now been replaced, with no reprieve, by non-stop panic. The knife book, as of today, is one third written.  And I’m in the midst of planning a homemade vinegar assembly line, located between my desk and a dog bed, for the second book.  But the words and ideas that so glibly roll into my brain when there’s no keyboard nearby are mocking me, just beyond the reach of my fingertips.

Oh, the questions: Prepare a roasted chicken on tv in two short segments?  Easy. Plan a dinner for eight people near Tanglewood for this weekend?  Piece of cake.  Fulfill my life’s dream of being a cookbook author?  Ruh roh.

Stay tuned!

“Roasted” Whole Lemon Chicken in a Slow Cooker

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1 4-5 pound chicken

3-4 carrots, peeled and cut in 4 pieces, length-wise

2-3 celery stalks, cut in 4 pieces, length-wise

approximately 1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

paprika

1 onion, peeled and quartered

1 lemon, cut in half

  1. Remove the neck and giblets from the chicken.  Rinse the chicken, and dry it with paper towel to remove any excess water.
  2. Spread the carrot and celery pieces in the slow cooker.
  3. Spread olive oil over the chicken, and sprinkle throughout with salt, pepper, and paprika.
  4. Place the cut onion into the cavity of the chicken, and place the chicken into the slow cooker.
  5. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken, and place the squeezed lemon halves into the slow cooker.
  6. Cover the slow cooker, and cook the chicken on low, for approximately 6 hours.

NOTES:

  • The timing of the cooking will vary based on your slow cooker and the size of the chicken.  It may be a bit more, or less, than 6 hours.
  • If you’d like crispy skin on the chicken after it’s cooked, put the chicken in an oven-proof pan, and place it under your oven’s broiler for 5 minutes.  Do not put it on the highest rack-level in the oven, or it might burn the chicken. Place the pan in the lower half of the oven.

 

Yield: 4-6 servings