No man hath chicken like sun-cooked, rotisserie chicken. It has to be the best!
And Allah looked down with love and said, “Go forward and multiply the cookers and fill them with chickens and spread across the land the miracle of my bounty and ye shall have all the chickens for all the people for all the rest of time. Just save me one now and then.” And it was so. And it was good. In fact, it was finger-lickin’ good.
Well, the truth is that it was not quite as miraculous as God thinks. HE/SHE came late to dinner last night and didn’t really see all the previous goings-on that were needed to get there. Bottom line: it was a bit of a schmozzle.
Y’all know about the challenge of getting the temperature high enough to feel sure about completely roasting the chicken beyond any doubt and, of course, Murphy did sneak in a few times to screw things up as I worked to get there. I hit 275 degrees Fahrenheit fairly early on in the test days and, with the addition of the Fresnel lenses, eventually got ‘er up to 325. I was chuffed!
So, I slipped a chicken on the rotisserie bar around 2:00 in the afternoon yesterday. Put everything in place and turned it on. The chicken turned around and around. But, after a few minutes, the chicken lay on the bottom of the oven and the bar was no longer turning! The problem was that the bar was aligned slightly downhill and, with the weight of the chicken on it, it slowly slipped out of the motor drive and all things greasy fell to the oven floor.
A quick ponder and I knew what I had to do: find a bushing-gasket for where the bar went through the oven wall and then use some kind of bar clamp so that the bar did not slip. I walked into my shop with the chicken lying impatiently back at the oven and looked in one of my junk drawers. And it was a miracle! There was something that looked like it had been designed for the job.
And some people don’t believe in God!
I put the chicken, the oven, the bar and assembly all back together and turned it on again. It was working.
Three hours later I was peeking at it and lamenting to Sal: :”There is clearly NO God! The chicken is not cooked! Not once did the oven go over 200 degrees….maybe 225. I do not get it. Why do bad things happen to good people?”
“Better get it out and we’ll pop it on the grill. Might as well at least save dinner.”
So, I stopped the turning, opened the oven and it was really hot. Even more surprising, the chicken was fall-off-the-bone cooked. It was a miracle!
My faith, it seems, is a bit fickle.
Miracle? Yes. But it was a less than aesthetic one. The chicken was clearly cooked but not all that brown. Not Costco brown, anyway. More like a tan. Hmmm……so I fired up the grill and gave it a minute on high flames and voila! It was brown and crispy.
Seems God works in wondrous ways.
In the end, I am left in a quandary. The oven worked and worked well. Sorta. But engineered ovens are also designed around consumer habits and I was, sadly, more focused on eating chicken when I designed mine. That left a few gaps in the prototype. One gap is that getting a chicken in there is a bit awkward. Lots of assembly of oven parts AFTER the chicken gets loaded and so, if you need to mess with the subject matter at all, you first have to then deconstruct the oven. That’s not ‘modern convenience’. That’s awkward. Secondly, chickens cooking ooze grease and stuff and my oven, sadly, was not designed for easy clean-up.
And, even tho I got the chicken nicely cooked, the temp never registered beyond 225. What the hell? So that is the NOT-SO-HAPPY side.
The happy side is that the chicken was – honestly – the best chicken I have ever eaten. Like the solar oven ads claim, cooking solar somehow makes the meal tastier. It really did.
Conclusion, I give myself a B. Not even a B+. Straight B. My dilemma now is, a B will cook a chicken. Nicely. Tasty. Do I re-engineer a few things to get my grade to an A? Or do I just say, “A delicious chicken is nothing to be sneezed at. Love that chicken with all your heart. And love that oven, too. Or tolerate it, anyway.”
I may put the oven under the house while I think it over. If there is an apocalypse, it will come out again for sure. If there is no such shattering event, it may just have to live there for awhile…….
The second part: Let There Be Light, refers to the lovely new lights. Those, too, messed with our heads for a few days as we screwed up the wiring but we eventually got that sorted and they look great!
And the damn carb? Well, it remains the damn carb. And I am wondering again if there is a God and, if there is, why has HE/SHE abandoned me again?