Keir Dullea's Chicken Baked in Clay
For the baker's clay:
3 cups flour
2 cups salt
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
About 1 1/3 cups water
Mix flour, salt and poultry seasoning in bowl. Add enough water to form stiff paste. Clay should not be sticky however. Turn out clay on lightly floured board. Knead lightly Several minutes. With rolling pin, roll a circle about one-half inch thick.
To prepare the chicken
One cleaned chicken (or pheasant) weighing about 2 1/2 pounds
Fresh ground black pepper
5 tablespoons sweet butter
A few drops pressed garlic
Half a lemon, squeezed
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped chives
A thin slice of larding pork (or sliced bacon)
1 tablespoon brandy
A large sheet of heavyweight aluminum foil
Prepared baker's clay
Truss chicken, tying legs and wings to body with string. Rub surface of cleaned chicken with pepper, salt and monosodium glutamate. Soften 4 tablespoons butter; add garlic, lemon juice, parsley and chives. Spread seasoned butter evenly over entire outer surface and inner cavity of bird. Put additional tablespoon of butter under skin of the breast.
Place larding pork (or bacon) over breast. Spray chicken (or pheasant) with brandy. Wrap bird securely with foil. Place bird on circle of baker's clay. Cover entire body surface. Secure tightly to seal in cooking juices. Place bird in roasting pan, roast in preheated 500 degree oven 1 1/4 hours. The clay should be hard and dried. Serve bird in basket (or platter) in bed of parsley or watercress. Bring to the table with mallet or nutcracker. Crack shell with mallet; peel away clay and aluminum foil. Let bird rest a few minutes before carving. Serves 2-3.
Keir Dullea's Good Egg Scramble
Good scrambled eggs deserve your careful attention. Cooking eggs properly is the initial step.
Allow 2 eggs per person plus one for the pan, 1 tablespoon cream (or water) per egg, 1 tablespoon butter per serving, plus salt and freshly ground black (or white) pepper to taste. Heat butter in skillet over medium heat until butter is hot, but not smoking. Beat eggs lightly; add cream and seasonings. Pour into skillet; cook over low heat stirring constantly until eggs begin to firm but are still "wet." Turn out on heated plates. Serve at once with croutons or fried toast triangles, toasted English muffins or fried tortillas.
And now the scramble is on -- select flavorful ingredients to jazz up the eggs. Let your imagination be your guide. Just ad lib the rest. The results can vary from the bizarre to the absurd, the celestial to the sublime.
For Fishy Flavors: Add caviar, lemon and Tabasco to beaten eggs just as mixture thickens. Top with sour cream, garnish with minced chives. Or use slivers of smoked salmon, tiny cooked shrimp, smoked oysters, crumbled cooked tuna or salmon, cooked fresh crab or lobster meat. Garnish with lemon wedges. Serve with hot buttered toast or crusty French bread spread with anchovy paste or sardine-lemon butter.
Vegetable Variations: Saute artichoke hearts, mushrooms or peeled, diced eggplant in butter; cook spinach (chicory or sorrel) lightly in salted water. Drain, flavor with nutmeg and lemon-butter; fry chopped sweet pepper and/or pimentos in vegetable oil or add peeled diced tomatoes.
Miscellany: Cut fresh herbs (parsley, chives, chervil, basil, tarragon (or oregano) into eggs during cooking. Snip a few extra herbs over top of scrambled eggs for added flavor. Incorporate cheese, mild (cream) or aromatic (Limburger), or garnish with grated Parmesan or Romano. Give added zing using seasoned salts, pressed garlic, cayenne, chili pepper, curry powder, ground ginger or nutmeg, or use offbeat condiments such as escoffier sauce, "hot" catsup, tarragon-flavored vinegar or Worcestershire sauce.