Saturday, December 18, 2021

Roast Chicken and Potatoes in the Kitchen

Tess notes an oven recipe for winter, roasted chicken and potatoes and she got it from the website for The Today Show:


  • 1 4-pound whole chicken, legs tied together
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 small Yukon gold potatoes (about 4 ounces each), halved
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • This mouthwatering bird is a classic, and every family has their favorite version. Well, here's mine, which is made with just a few ingredients but has served my family and me very well over the years. Follow this recipe for a golden bird with juicy meat and some of the tastiest potatoes you could hope for. Stick with small Yukons-they are the perfect size and their waxy skins become nice and crunchy. Leftover chicken can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to two days and used for sandwiches, salads, or soups.


    Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

    Place the chicken on a large heavy rimmed baking sheet. Rub 2 tablespoons of the oil all over the chicken and season it generously with salt and pepper.

    In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to coat. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and place them around the chicken.

    Roast for 55 minutes, or until the thickest part of the chicken thighs all reach 160°F and the juices run clear when pierced and the potatoes are tender but crisp on the outside. Transfer the chicken and potatoes to a platter and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

    Meanwhile, pour the pan drippings into a small liquid measuring cup. Spoon off the fat from the drippings, reserving 1 tablespoon of the fat. In a small heavy saucepan, heat the reserved fat over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour. Continue whisking for about 1 minute to cook the flour. Whisk in the pan drippings, broth, and any juices that have accumulated on the platter. Simmer, whisking, for about 2 minutes, or until the gravy thickens slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    Serve the chicken and potatoes immediately with the gravy. 

    Staying with chicken, Nicole just got an air fryer and tried to make fried chicken but was disappointed.  That's what's going to happen.  You are not going to be able to make the kind of fried chicken in the air fryer that you'd make in a skillet with oil.  The air fryer uses hot air, not hot oil.  You can get an approximate but you're not going to get the skillet type in the air fryer.  For juicer chicken, you can soak it in buttermilk.  You can try letting the flour (and spices) set on the chicken pieces for an hour before putting it into the air fryer.  But even that's not going to make it taste exactly like fried chicken in a skillet.  

    Kellogg workers help provide our food.  They work hard and Kellogg has gotten rich during the pandemic but it doesn't want to pay workers what they deserve.

    This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Friday:

     Friday, December 17, 2021.  A lot to cover, Julian Assange, flooding in Iraq, a shoe thrower tosses out some truths, and much more.

    Julian Assange, an Australian citizen, is being persecuted by the US government.  He not only remains in UK custody, the UK government now says they will hand Julian over to the US.  Why?  What is the crime?

    Not just in terms of the US, but in terms of the UK?  How does the uUK justify keeping Julian behind bars when the case against him was already settled.  That case against him was dropped by the prosecution which stated that they did not believe they had enough evidence to support the charges.  That means you let the person go.  Somehow, in the UK, they retain him and hold him with no real chrages.  He's not under investigation in the UK, the case was dropped.  That means the person is set free.  Two years and eight months after the case has been dropped, Julian remains in prison.  How do you jusitfy that?

    What happened to the rule of law?

    Julian's 'crime'?  Releasing the truth.  Letting the people know.  Providing some much needed sunlight in what's supposed to be a democracy.  As we've noted many times,  such as here, the one person the US government wants to punish for the Iraq War is WIKILEAKS publisher Julian Assange.  Julian's 'crime' was revaling the realities of Iraq -- Chelsea Manning was a whistle-blower who leaked the information to Julian.  WIKILEAKS then published the Iraq War Logs.  And many outlets used the publication to publish reports of their own.  For example, THE GUARDIAN published many articles based on The Iraq War Logs.  Jonathan Steele, David Leigh and Nick Davies offered, on October 22, 2012:

    A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
    Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

    The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
    The new logs detail how:
    US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.

    A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
    More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.
    The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent death.

    How telling of the pathetic and degraded society we currently live in that the only person whom the US government wants to punish for the Iraq War is the one who told the truth.

    Last night, Katie Halper devoted her show to the topic of Julian Assange and had many wonderful people on the program -- and one lousy man who doesn't know how the hell to shutp and let women speak.  That's a probem he's had for some time and we've called it out here before.  He talks over women all the time.  He doesn't know how to shut his damn mouth.  You know who I'm talking about but Ava and i are thinking of including him in our media peice for THIRD so we'll table that for now.  Here's the video of the discussion.

    Marianne Williamson: Key to authoritatiasm in secrecy and no secrecy is more dangerous than military secrecy.   Everybody [corporte media lapdogs] will be going on about what a 'criminal' he is.  And great people will be talking tonight [on the live stream] about how is he and what did he really do.  But I I want to talk for a moment about what he did do.  What Julian Assange revealed were War Crimes.   What he revealed were atrocities.  What he revealed were gratuitous deaths.  I'll give you just an example: Almost 700 people were killed because -- mainly, by the way, the mentally ill and women who uknowingly got to close to a checkpoint.  There were men who were trying to drive their pregnant women to the hospital, got too close to a cheakpoint.  This was in 2010 that all these things were revealed.  Let's be very clear here everyoneL  Vietnam was a debacle, Iraq was a debacle, Afghanistan was a debacle.  So when the military establishment tries to go at us with "Nothing to see here, guys"?  If anything is clear, there's a lot to see. There's a lot to see.  There's a lot we should have been paying very close attention to. And the fact that the US government, rather than wanting to stand for the free press, the right of the people to know and holding the military accountable?  You have to have transparency.  A military that is not held accountable?  And the way that they are able to do what they do is through this completely illegitmate use of the classification system.  Classified document, right?  They're not supposed to classify a document [when] it's just really they don't want you to know.  [The sole man on the panel feels the need to interrupt Marianne while she is speaking; not once but twice.]  So millions of documents are made classified.  Journalists who would say, "What's in there?" -- "we can't tell you because it's classified.  They're only able to classify something if they can prove it's essentail to US security.  This is a whole veil that they're putting over it.  You're going to hear a lot tonight about how 'Oh, you're putting hte troops in danger.'  We don't want to put the troops in danger but we don't want them to put the people of Afghanistan in danger, which they did, and the people of Iraq in danger, which they did, or the people of Iraq in danger, which they did.  So you're going to hear about that tonight.  All of these issues are extremely important.

    Glenn Greenwald,  Margaret Kimberly (whom Betty rightly praised), Chris Hedges and Susan Sarandon  are among the other strong participants in the discussion.  

    Susan Sarandon: We need journalists, we need investigative reporters to tell us about things the government is hiding that are illegal, inhumane, immoral acts.  And when you have, finally, a whistle-blower that comes forward with information that is really assoutndingly horrifying -- as Chelsea Manning did, God bless her -- and then you have the publisher [Julian] punished ina very -- I mean, right now he could die.  And you know, it's gone on for so long and he's so fragile.  And on top of that, all the other newspapers, all the mainstream newspapers, benefitted from this information.  They pritned it.  No one is accusing them of endaring the troops or bringing down America.  They all profitted -- THE GUARDIAN, THE WASHINGTON POST.  But they've singled him out [the US government] to tell other journalists not to go into this kind of investigative reporting. 

    The plan is to return to this live stream in next week's snapshot (or snapshots).  That said, there's another thing I planned to cover today -- testimoy -- but I'm having to put that on hold because there's too much that has to be in the snapshot today.

    In Iraq today?  Floodng.  AP reports:

    At least eight people have died and more are feared injured amid severe flooding caused by torrential rainfall in northern Iraq, Iraqi officials said on Friday.

    Omed Khoshnaw, governor of Irbil province in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, said the deaths occurred primarily in the Daratu district. In comments to local outlet Rudaw, he said seven had died due to the flash flooding and one after a lighting strike. Women and children were feared among the dead, he added.

    AFP Tweets:

    #UPDATE Eleven people including two foreigners died on Friday in flash floods which swept through northern Iraq after torrential rains in Arbil, capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region, an official said

    The Kurdistan government's representative to the US Bayan SamiRahman Tweets:

    Deeply saddened by the Erbil floods which killed several people. Kurdistan and Iraq as a whole are the victims of climate change, deliberate environmental damage by the Ba’ath regime and weak planning to mitigate future threats. We need to work together to prevent more disasters



    She cries to the heavens above
    There's a stone in my heart
    She lives a life she didn't choose
    And it hurts like brand new shoes
    Yes, it hurts like brand new shoes
    And it hurts like brand new shoes
    -- "Pearls," written by Sade Adu, Andrew Hale and Dobet Gnahore, performed by India Arie  on her TESTIMONY: VOL. 2, LOVE & POLITICS

    Hurts like brand new shoes?

    Bully Boy and Puppet

    Above is Bully Boy and Nouri al-Maliki as the two celebrated and signed the Strategic Forces Agreement and the treaty masquerading as a Status Of Forces Agreement on December 14, 2008 minutes before Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zeidi declared, "This is a gift from the Iraqis. This is the farewell kiss you dog. This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq" while hurling first one-shoe and the second at Bully Boy. Both shoes missed and Bully Boy grinned and did not take it seriously or perceive it to be a threat ("And if you want some -- if you want the facts, it's a size 10 shoe that he threw. Thank you for your concern, do not worry about it.")

    Muntadhar is back in the news.   EFE reports:

    Ten years after the withdrawal of US troops, the journalist told Efe in an interview that the occupation is far from over and that “the US continues to occupy Iraq,” politically speaking.

    “The US Embassy is the one that dominates many sectors of the State and important decisions, from the formation of the Government to the decisions of Parliament,” he added in an interview with Efe in the Iraqi capital.

    Al Zaidi (1979) recalls the “totally premeditated” act that made him a hero in the Arab world overnight, but also put him in prison where he was beaten regularly.

    “This is a farewell kiss from the people of Iraq, you dog,” Al Zaidi told Bush as he tossed his shoes at him during a news conference in Baghdad on December 14, 2008.

    That action was seen as spontaneous, but Al Zaidi said it was “planned” and that he videotaped his will before leaving for the press conference because he was fully aware of the consequences of his actions.

    “The greatest honor in the world is to be thrown roses, what I did was change the farce of throwing roses to throwing shoes at the president of the US occupation of Iraq.”

    According to Al Zaidi, the president had said that Iraqis would welcome US troops “with flowers” after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which led to the demise of dictator Saddam Hussein but also to years of chaos and sectarian conflict in the Arab country.

    To this day, Al Zaidi does not know what happened to his shoes, which were never returned to him despite the fact that he requested them during his trial.

    He is correct, the war, the occupation continues.  The press lies but that's the reality.

    The following sites updated: