Mack's Corner

This Week

This week 09-29-15

National Champs?

When I was in College I played in the NCAA national Racquetball Championship. Impressed? Don't be. The deal was that there were so few teams playing that they opened it to the public. So for $25 you could play and get a T-Shirt. A friend of mine and I entered the doubles. We were the first to play so they put us on the main glass court (the glass was so people could watch from the sides). We were great! We were hitting everything. About every other point we got applause. We won the first game, lost the 2nd and won the 3rd to win the match. We walked out of the court ready to sign autographs, we thought we could go a long way. Rested and ready to go again we were up against the team from Ohio State, we served first. Wham! Their guy hit it flat and the ball rolled to the back of the court. If you don't know racquetball, you only score when you serve and if you hit a perfect shot the ball will hit so close to the floor on the front wall that it will simply roll on the floor, no return is possible. We never served again 21 - 0, 21 - 0 .. the only way we could have lost by more was to have not been on the court. We shook their hands and told each other that if they could beat us that bad, they would probably be the national champs. If we got slammed by the national champs, that wasn't so bad. We stayed and watched. The next team that Ohio State played was Memphis State's 2nd team. It was almost laughable .. 21 - 0, 21 - 0 again... Memphis State killed them. By the end Ohio State finished 5th behind two Memphis State teams and others. The only match that was even close for Memphis was when the number 1 team from Memphis played the number 2 team from Memphis for the championship. The number 1 team won. Maybe we over estimated ourselves?

God's like that: People think that God knows just a little bit more than they do, that God's just a little more powerful. Maybe I know better than God, maybe he messed this one up?  Maybe I am smarter sometimes?  No! Take everything you know and everything everybody in the world knows and multiply that by a trillion and then do that a trillion more times and you won't even be close. Our God is so big that we will never be able to even think about it, but somehow he loves me and speaks to me and listens to me, all by myself. He knows my name...

I think I've still got my National Champion T-Shirt, I wonder if it makes me play better?


Cooking 220 - 2 pans, 2 burners, 20 minutes:

The first recipe in Thomas Keller's Bouchon cookbook, the recipe Frank Stitt and Gordon Ramsay call their favorite, in fact the recipe where the word "Favorite" is used the most is Roast Chicken. Roast chicken is like scrambles eggs to chefs, if it's done right, it is simple magic. It's almost too easy, don't make it hard…It's also cheap. Check the cost of a whole chicken vs skinless boneless…

1 2-3 pound Chicken
Salt & Pepper
2 tsp minced thyme (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 (If you've got a convection oven preheat to 350 .. Check internal temp for doneness)

Wash the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Get it as dry as possible. Don't want steamed chicken.

Salt and pepper the inside.

Tie the chicken. All you want to do is pull the wings and legs in close to the body. Even if all you do is tie the legs together, it will help the chicken cook more evenly.

Salt & Pepper the outside … Salt by hand or with a shaker from high above the chicken so that the salt is spread evenly.

Put the chicken in a sauté pan or a roasting pan, put it in the oven and leave it alone..

Roast for about an hour… you can tell if a chicken is done by cutting a slit in the skin between the leg and breast. The juices will be clear when it's done. Or when the internal temp hits 165.

If you are using the thyme sprinkle it over the chicken and baste the chicken with the juices … let it rest on a cutting board for 15 minutes.

At this point you're on your own. You're the chef. You can stand there and eat the whole thing if you want.. Or share it with friends.. It tastes best if it never touches a plate.. Just gather around the cutting board…


Posted by Mack Oates at 10:29 AM