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Sunday, March 11, 2012
Boston's second album and this amazing glazed chicken
Listening to:Don't Look Back
Reading:Blood Bones and Butter, and on audio How To Be Black by Baratunde Thurston
Weather:fuckin gorgeous clear sunny 50
Most second albums tend to suck. There are exceptions, to be sure, but there are so many sucky second albums out there. I think it's because you had your whole life up til that moment to create what's on the first record, and you probably had a year or two and scrapings off the cutting room floor to make your second. If your first one was good and/or made plenty some bank your label is pushing you to crank out another too quickly, ride that cash wave, jam another one into your 15 minutes of fame. And you're probably still high from the first trip and have lackeys and strippers all over you telling you how awesome your every utterance is. So you crap out a second album, and probably instantly regret it.

Boston's second album Don't Look Back is one of the most noteworthy exceptions to this rule, even though Tom Scholz has said in interviews that the album was not ready when the label forced it out. The fat juicy guitar work is actually better than the band's first fantastic album, the vocals are every bit as delectable, and the sound engineering is so tight it should be studied in detail by any serious soundman. Fuck, every drum sound is perfection, and it's a guitar/vocal band! The lyrics are a nice mix of straight up rock and roll themes and thoughtful ballads.

Go ahead, dust it off. You haven't listened to it in while, I'm guessing. You always liked it, of course, but now I'm suggesting on a lovely comfortable Sunday morning you pull that record out and listen to it all, top to bottom. Go ahead, satisfy that instinct to crank it up loud enough to perhaps piss off a neighbor. You'll instantly smile at the sparkle, that superclean dirty sizzle of those humbuckers, the soaring vocals and guitar leads, the drummer that sounds like he's in the corner of your fucking living room. An absolutely post-British invasion classic American rock and roll sound. You can't help but be dazzled all over again. Then you slide into the familiarity of every tune, every drum fill, happily singing along until you totally blow those stratospheric high notes Brad Delp seemed to easily slide right up to.

Then if you're like me you'll find yourself surprisingly energized, ready to actually dust behind some shit, not just around it. I started to zig and zag across about 4 half-finished housework chores, even psyched to carry that heavy laundry basket full of wet clothes from the washer upstairs to go hang out to dry. This music is so electric, you can't help but wanna take it somewhere. Luscious.

All this rock and roll is making me hungry. Lucky for me I roasted a chicken yesterday and got plenty o'green beans from last summer in the pantry. I glazed a 5 pound chicken with this killer stout jelly I got in the strip last weekend. Yes, jelly made from beer. Nice malty dark beer, to be more specific. It's great on toast with butter. But it's even better loosened up with a little oil and some lemon juice poured over a chicken and roasted at 420 for about 15-20 minutes till the glazed skin starts to crisp up, then down to 350 for about another hour and 45.

Oh, first slice up an entire sweet onion and line the bottom of the pan with it, then put the chicken on top, salt and pepper, then pour over about 2/3 of your glaze. A lot falls down into the onions, no worries. After it's done while the meat is resting pour the contents of the pan into a bowl or glass measuring cup. Put it in the freezer. Then after the fat floating on top has gotten pretty solid, pull it out and skim that off. Blend up the rest, which is dark brown juices from the glaze and the chicken and piles of carmelized onions, with an immersion blender right in the bowl. Put the pan on the stovetop (I roasted the chicken in a deep skillet), heat it to a little lower than medium, add one spoonful of the chicken fat, and when it's starting to sizzle add the same amount of flour. Add cracked pepper, lots of it. And some salt. Stir around and cook, digging some browned bits off the bottom of the pan, letting the fat/flour mixture brown up a little. Then loosen up that blended onion/drippings mixture with some water and pour it over the fat/flour, quickly whisking and turn up the heat a little. Keep whisking. This will thicken up very quickly and be a silky delicious sweet onion gravy for the chicken. Heat up some green beans with it, put some spuds on the plate too, if you wish. Savor. Flip the record over. Savor.

permalink posted by cat 12:28 PM

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Boston's second album and this amazing glazed chicken