Preparing A Dinner For Purple Lips: The Chicken

October 2011

Me:  “I’m a sucker for romantic stories.”
Nicole:  “Please, there was no story with my ex.  When I met him my lips were stained purple with Malbec.”

Somehow that became one of my favorite stories anyway.  Purple lips.  Sometimes they are sought.  More often than not, they appear before you know it, and even more often, you find yourself flirting through purple lips you didn’t even know you had.  On other occasions, that lip stain is the goal of the evening.  This was one such occasion.  We were gathering around the table to be ladies with purple lips.  The menu in my head filled the table with purple foods for the occasion.  The song in my head was this.

Looking at that image of the open jar, I literally begin to smell the smoked sea salt, so powerful is its aroma.  Opening that jar transports me to a campfire.  I’m wearing flannel at that campfire.  Flannel with elbow patches!

Here’s the before:  the purplish skin.


1 (5 to 6 pound) roasting chicken (free-range, hormone free)
Yakima Applewood Smoked salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large bunch fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved
1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons organic, unsalted butter, melted
1 large red onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into thick slices
3 turnips, chopped in 2-inch chunks
Olive oil


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the chicken giblets.

Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the chicken.

Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of the lemon and all the garlic.

Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.

Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wing tips under the body of the chicken.

Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan.

Toss with salt, pepper, additional sprigs of thyme and olive oil. Spread the vegetable mixture evenly around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.

Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh.

Remove the chicken and vegetables to a platter and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes.

Slice the chicken onto a platter and serve it with the vegetables.

Stay tuned for the dinner pictures to see the final chicken.

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