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Roasted Chicken Over Potatoes
june 18, 2013

I have loved the Canal House Cooking series ever since I encountered the very first issue nearly five years ago, at Omnivore Books . It opened my eyes to beautifully simple dinners made with produce from the garden or grocer and a new style of periodical - precious yet useful, with photos of what seemed to be actual food.

Their stories of canalside life brought me back to the verdant New Jersey suburbs of my early childhood: sweltering summer days spent waiting for lightening bugs to come out at dusk, the smell of dry leaves on  Halloween,  an intense yearning for the first snow of each winter and the sweet scent of  Lily-of-the-valley, rising up in early spring as they bloomed in the lawn.

As an adult I would wait by the mailbox for Canal House to arrive: Summer, Holiday and Spring issues each year. And when they slowed, then stopped arriving all together, I was very sad. And a little angry...I had paid for the subscription, year after year, but they hadn't produced all of the promised issues.  

Then their magnum opus, the award winning Canal House Cooks Every Day, came out. Of course I bought it. It sat on my shelf for close to a year. Finally, I opened it up - and it's pretty good. Same beautiful photos and conversational writing, same great recipes. And a new way to roast a chicken  - splayed out, pan-free in the oven with a tin of potatoes and lemons below. Now I know two good ways to roast a bird.

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