The Farmer's Almanac, which has so far predicted to the day the last two storms, is calling for another ice storm in the Southeast in two weeks. The Deans already know the picnic we are packing for when the Ravenel Bridge closes again and we are stuck in the morass that is the Don Holt Bridge when it is the only artery to and from Mt Pleasant. You can turn that frown upside down when your 20 minute commute stretches into five hours and you will be the envy of all the fellow drivers when they spy you leisurely reaching into your back seat and plucking delicacies laden in your hamper. You will be grinning from ear to ear as you blithely toss chicken bones and champagne corks out your window while listening to soothing tunes on the radio. Let it snow, let is snow, let it snow! If the people in Atlanta had consulted the Deans so much misery could have been averted. It wasn't the evacuation plan that was amiss, it was lack of planning for the evacuation itself. Just don't forget a couple of adult-size diapers, and just like astronauts of yesteryear, you will be ready for any length of car stay.
After roasting nine thousand chickens, it would be too sad for words if the Deans had learned nothing. Felicitously, we learned plenty, but one fact stood out the most. A chicken left completely unmolested during cooking renders the crispiest skin of all. No basting or shoving emollients under the skin is necessary. You can, but it's not needed and we prefer leaving the chicken alone. We all know about the need for many colors on a plate, but for a car picnic, simplicity cannot be topped. Ice cold champagne and cold chicken can momentarily turn your Prius into a Rolls Royce. Just make sure the driver drinks water. No drinking and driving during winter storm evacs, please.
Ingredients: One 4 -5 pound chicken, two teaspoons salt, two tablespoons butter.
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse and pat dry chicken. Sprinkle with salt. Melt butter in 9 inch cast iron skillet and then add chicken. Place skillet in oven and remove after one hour. Let stand for 10-15 minutes and serve at once or refrigerate for trips unknown.