Everybody's Chicken

(Contains meat, duh)

I'm afraid this is one of my recipes that's more a story than a recipe. But that's kind of the best kind, right? Because you can do what you want with it. I know that some people are wary of this concept, which is why I'm posting this to begin with. Really. Do what you want. It's not just my chicken. It's everybody's chicken.

Yourchuck had Em and Amber and a bunch of other people over for dinner once, after Rachel and Ben's wedding, I think. (We were at Aunt Ellen's that day.) And, as far as I have been told, he served them something he called The Chicken of a Thousand Breaths. He took a cut-up whole chicken, drizzled it with olive oil, and surrounded it with garlic. This may be slightly off -- I wasn't there.

Then Em and Amber came over for dinner here. They surprised us -- Em doesn't live here, she lives in Portland. So they offered to cook using our kitchen. And they took a whole chicken, two heads of garlic, some olive oil, and some fresh rosemary. Baked the chicken. Put some of the garlic into the mashed potatoes. Num.

Timprov and I were doing the shopping the next week, and I said, "That chicken Em and Amber made was good." He said, "Yeah, but you know what I'd like to add to it?" "Paprika!" I said. (This is almost always a good guess. Vanilla or paprika. His time in Hungary did it to him, I think.) Timprov, who didn't seem to think I was nearly as clever as I thought I was for anticipating the paprika, said, "Yep, and allspice."

So. Heat your oven to 400 F. Put some foil down in a baking pan. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil. (I recommend boneless skinless breasts, by the way, not a whole chicken in parts.) Sprinkle a little allspice on and a little rosemary on, and then sprinkle liberally with paprika. Surround -- besiege --with garlic. Bake until the chicken is done -- around 45 minutes in our oven. You may want to throw some of the garlic into mashed potatoes. Or you may just want to eat it. Your call.

Or you may want to throw other things on the chicken. Or surround it with vegetables of some sort. Or something. It's good this way, but it was good Em and Amber's way, and I'll bet it'd be good Yore's way, too. Go ahead. It's everybody's chicken.