Can I Freeze It?

I know what happens to bare toes when they’re struck by a frozen chicken breast that’s dropped from a height of four feet (it ain’t pretty). I would be a richer woman if I had a dollar for every time I shoved aside the Absolut looking for a bag of squash or container of soup. For someone who takes personal pride in the neatness of my office here at Morrow Cookbooks, and in the organization of my home kitchen, my jumbled freezer is my deep, dark secret. Or rather, my freezer is deep and dark and its disorganization is my secret.

Shameful FreezerThis is what the inside of my freezer looks like. Among its contents are chicken breasts, sausages of varying types, steak, bags of berries and vegetables, random ice cube trays and their bucket, the canister to my Cuisinart ice cream maker, and of course that oh-so-necessary bottle of vodka.

While I was unloading my groceries into the freezer this week, trying with little success to stave off the inevitable disgorgement of icy food, I vowed my toes would never again be assaulted by frozen poultry. It was time to do something about my freezer’s organization. (I won’t post a picture of the toe that got hit with that frozen chicken)

Susie Theodorou to the rescue. I remembered working on her book, Can I Freeze It?, a couple of years ago and thinking that as an urbanite who tried to grocery shop like a European, I had no call for advanced knowledge on “the most versatile appliance” in my kitchen. Boy, was I wrong. Look no further than page 9, “Organizing the Freezer,” where Theodorou writes:

“Try to avoid throwing [food] in the freezer at random. It is well worth making the time to package, date, and label food and to place it so you can see right through to the back or bottom of the freezer. If the freezer is deep, keep a list on the door that itemizes contents. Use a nonmetal rack to create shelves, so that everything is not simply piled up on top of everything else and so that you can access items more easily.”

My Nana would be heartbroken if she saw my freezer. She would throw Susie’s book at me and tell me to get my act together. Nana is a woman who double-bags her bread and rolls by serving portions, inserts slips of paper with the item and the date it was frozen (so she can re-use the bags), and always has at least a gallon each of chicken broth and tomato sauce hard and at the ready. Her freezer is below her fridge, and its four quarters are dedicated to vegetables, breads, meats, and treats. Nana would nod approvingly if she was to spy into Susie’s freezer, just as surely a peek into mine might send her into the hospital for a short stay.

Organized FreezerSo I did it: I bought a wire rack and some labels and retrieved the Sharpie from the pen cup. I took a quick inventory and wrote out labels. I emptied my freezer, quickly wiped it down, and inserted the rack. Taking Susie’s suggestions to heart, I repacked my freezer, and while my fingers were numb, my heart was warm with the satisfaction of a space well-organized. As I gazed into my orderly freezer, my imagination came alive with ideas for all the meals I could make with the hibernating ingredients (Cornish game hens! Big steaks!) I had forgotten I had. Heck, I may even try some of the recipes my new best friend Susie gives us in Can I Freeze It?

Recipe: Lemon Roasted Chicken

It takes no more effort to cook two chickens than to cook one. Roast one for dinner and the second for modern Moroccan-style chicken salad for lunch or dinner another day.

Ingredients:

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon, squeezed halves reserved
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • Two 3-pound organic chickens, any solid fat around the neck and back cavities removed, washed and patted dry with paper towels
  • 4 large rosemary sprigs

MAKES 2 ROAST CHICKENS

Can I Freeze It? Roasted Chicken1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Place a rack in the center of the oven. Place a large roasting rack or wire rack in a large roasting pan.

2. Crush 2 garlic cloves, then mash to a paste with some salt flakes: use a thin-bladed knife to slide along the garlic and salt on the chopping board. Mix the garlic paste, lemon juice, and butter in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Using your hands, gently ease some of the lemon butter between the skin and breast meat of the chickens and rub the rest all over the chickens. Lightly smash the remaining garlic cloves and divide between the main cavities of the chickens. Add the squeezed-out lemon halves and the rosemary to the cavities. Tuck the wing tips under the chickens and tie the legs together.

3. Place the chickens, breast side down, in the roasting pan, and roast for 30 minutes. Turn the chickens over and roast for another 50 minutes. To check for doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer between the thigh and the breast. It should register 170°F. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Comments
2 Responses to “Can I Freeze It?”
  1. 依波路機械であるロッキーシリーズの腕時計をみると、依波路機械であるエーゲ海シリーズの腕時計をみると、依波路機械、ジャズシリーズの腕時計をみると、依波路機械である雅構造の自動シリーズの腕時計をみると、依波路石英—ジョス石英シリーズの腕時計をみると、依波路石英——で典雅シリーズの腕時計をみると、
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