The trees are relieved. I can hear them sighing, as if letting out a long-held nervous breath, as the first truly cool breeze since the Autumn Equinox rustles their branches with what seems an almost apologetic affection. The heat of a very late Summer has lingered here, and all have felt its oppressive weight – the unusual humidity and high temperatures make for an uncomfortable reality check. Hurricanes devastate entire countries; forest fires savage recklessly across parched, aching lands. Scientists have tried to warn us. Those of us who have been listening, we bite our lips in worry as we contemplate what possibilities there are to counteract the devastation humanity has already wrought upon the Earth. Yet, today brings about a peace I find jarring in these troubled times – a shade that cools, a sun that does not burn. Has Autumn come at last? Summer does not seem to want to let go. I know that it is not easy for many to bade farewell to the sun, and so this seems a blessing to them. Me, though – I am the blood of winter, and at this time of year, I am constantly expecting a bone-chill to settle at any moment…but now, I am finding only idle heatwaves and not a hint of frost. I feel stretched to an uncomfortable breaking point, the same sort of tension felt before rain finally falls after several days of plump, dark clouds. I desperately crave the spiced comfort of a cumin seed, but I find it hard not to desire the refreshing tartness of a citrus fruit as I sweat through my shirt. How do I quench this double-edged thirst? How do we remember to care for ourselves, when the world around us seems foreign and unpredictable?
8 Chicken Drumsticks**
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large scallions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
- Stir together the orange juice, olive oil, scallions, garlic, cumin seeds, vinegar, salt, and pepper to create a marinade
- Place the chicken into a large, seal-able plastic bag, then pour the marinade over the chicken, seal tightly, shake to thoroughly coat all drumsticks, and then stick in the refrigerator
- Marinate the chicken, chilled, turning the bag once or twice, for at least 4 hours. I recommend doing this in the morning before a work or school day so that it sits for 6-8 hours. I personally left mine for 8 hours
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
- Remove the chicken drumsticks from the plastic bag and place in a single layer in a roasting pan (two pans may be needed). I like to pour any remaining marinade over the chicken, but to do so is optional
- Roast the chicken for 30 minutes in the preheated oven, then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Baste the chicken with the pan juices every 20 minutes or so. Do this for about 90 minutes, until the juices are running clear and the chicken is cooked through at the thickest section – 165 degrees F (74 degrees C)
This dish goes well with garlic-roasted sweet potatoes and/or boiled sweet corn.
May the Lady Frige bless this meal.
*This recipe’s marinade was adapted from a recipe featured in Ian Knauer’s cookbook The Farm.
**Humanely raised chicken from a local Pennsylvania farm