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Impaling your bird | Manolo's Food Blog

Impaling your bird

Mr. Henry is wary of gadgetry in the kitchen. He likes his old waiter’s corkscrew and his old hand-crank can-opener. If he needs to slice and dice, he takes a knife out of the drawer.


To this bastion of conservative family values one fine day Mrs. Henry, normally a woman to abjure gimcrackery, brings home a cone-shaped ceramic vessel with narrowed neck and announces the advent of the “chicken sitter,” an invention that would have delighted Vlad the Impaler.


Resembling the Mercury orbiter capsule, the chicken sitter (and try saying that three times fast) is more fun than Captain Billy’s Whiz Bang. It beats the old beer can technique all to hell. Stuff the chicken sitter with herbs, wine, garlic, lemon or what-have-you. Then impale your trussed bird on the cone.


Skin cooks crisply and evenly all around while liquid inside the cone bastes and steams the flesh. Indeed, the chicken sitter yields a perfect roast chicken with absolutely no fuss. Afterwards you can salvage the juice inside the cone to help make stock with the bones.


5 Responses to “Impaling your bird”

  1. cardman January 24, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    Thank you, Mr. Henry, for the tip. I will be the proud owner of a chicken sitter asap.

  2. Jennie January 25, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    I too prefer the waiter’s corkscrew and my hand cranked OXO can opener will only be pried out of my cold dead fingers. My dear Mr. Henry, I will look now for the ceramic Chicken Cooker… Thank you. And please…post more often so I get my Henry fix… 😉

  3. Victor January 25, 2010 at 2:30 pm #

    Probably easier to remove from the chicken than a beer can, too. And the recipe can still start, “Open a can of beer, then drink half of it.”

  4. raincoaster January 25, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    The increasing and unnecessary electrification of kitchens and bathrooms means that in the near future we will just have to starve and hold it if there’s a power outage. I can think of fewer more miserable ways to die. Seriously, I have nightmares about getting locked in a bathroom stall when there’s a power outage and electronic locks. It happened to a guy in Toronto, he thought he’d be trapped for days. Imagine your life flashing before your eyes as you compose “Body Removed from Stall, Hadn’t Washed Hands” headlines.

  5. pixie January 26, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    I am, for one, happy that Mr. Henry is back on his horse, no matter that it took a chicken impaler to steady him.
    The sour grass entry was enough to make me swear off any holiday. Although chocolates and roses are nice in mid February.