The Neighbor Wife and Once a Week Cooking

by Cate on March 9, 2008

psycho-chicken-small.jpgOtherwise known as “when pigs fly.”  And fly they did.  So last week, I get an e-mail from The Neighbor Wife.  She wants to know if I want to get together over the weekend to cook a bunch of dinners for the week.  I rubbed my eyes, blinked a few times and checked to make sure the drink in my glass was, indeed, apple juice and not something stronger.  Yes, folks, The Neighbor Wife has come over to the dark side.  Took her long enough, didn’t it?

Sunday afternoon came and in less than two hours, we made four dinners, doubled, setting ourselves up for a very easy week.  The first two dishes we did took virtually minutes to assemble and get into the oven … Roasted Sausages and Potatoes and Psycho Chicken.  While those dishes hummed away in the oven, we each set to work on two more dishes, these a little more labor intensive … a Lasagna from Emeril and an Enchilada recipe.  By the time we were done, each family had 4 dinners for the grand total of $40, not to mention the extra time it bought us during the week, when nights can get a little hectic.  And that folks, you know, is priceless.

During the week, I’ll share the lasagna and enchilada recipes, but in the meantime, Psycho Chicken.  Named for the slashes you make in the chicken, this one is a tried-and-true that has been floating around the Cooking Light bulletin board for many years now.  This was the first time The Neighbor Wife has made roast chicken, and I think it’s safe to say she was surprised by how easy it was to make.

Minutes to assemble, and only a few ingredients needed, this is a great recipe to have on hand that produces a terrifically moist chicken … just add some vegetables (mashed potatoes would be perfect) on the side and you have super simple comfort food meal that will please everyone at your table.

Recipe courtesy of Gail, Cooking Light bulletin board

Whole chicken (a small one)
Approx 1-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Approx 1 tablespoon garlic, pressed
Approx 1 tablespoon cider or malt vinegar
Dry white wine (sauvignon blanc works well)
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Clean chicken and remove giblets. Hack chicken all over with the tip of a sharp chef’s knife to make gashes. (Invariably I find the music to the shower scene in Psycho running through my mind, thus the name, Psycho Chicken– and lest you think I am thoroughly deranged, this manner of slash and season is actually very common in Cuban cooking.)

In a small bowl, mix together thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and vinegar, and slather liberally on chicken, taking care that mixture gets into slits in the meat. Place chicken on rack in roasting pan (if you don’t have a rack, no biggie– throw the thing directly into the pan) and roast about 2 hours until golden and fragrant, basting every twenty or thirty minutes with a splash of wine and any juices in the pan. Your house will smell wonderful.

Now this is the crucial part, which will make or break the entire dish: If this is cooked properly, your chicken should be running with wonderful juices as you carve. Dredge each slice of carved meat in those juices before placing on platter– the juices are loaded with garlic and herb flavor.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

chris March 10, 2008 at 12:20 pm

Way to go neoghbor wife. awesome. im sitting here this morning HUNGRY. i have many cooks here at work and whenever someone makes something i am sure to get a carry home plate. :) everyone loves me here. i burned premade meatballs last night. hahaha
hope all is well.
red head chris


sarah March 10, 2008 at 3:10 pm

What an awesome technique. Love it! Going to have to try this one :)


Michele Lane March 10, 2008 at 6:06 pm

hmmm psycho chicken.. might be a name that might entice my kids to eat it. ( they are big chicken fans anyway)

I will definatly try this method.. although I have been using Tyler’s Ultimate Roasted Chicken for over a year and its a standard in our weekly menus.


Maria March 10, 2008 at 6:29 pm

Go Neighbor Wife!

I think I will try this Pscho Chicken this weekend.

If I don’t cook several meals over the weekend, I live on takeout and sandwiches all week.


The Neighbor Husband March 11, 2008 at 12:31 am

I am loving life. I get Cate’s cooking and my wife is getting an education cooking with her. I can now grow old and eat well while doing so.



The Neighor (wife) March 12, 2008 at 2:06 pm

Chris-Thanks. I’m still shocked too.

Sarah-It works since we get together to do dinner once a week. This way we are both set for the week ahead.

Michele-It’s so good. And very easy.

Maria-We are the same way. My main reason for never cooking was I didn’t have time after work or I was tired.

The Husband-See I’ve been smart all these years. I can cook, I just never got you used to it. lol


Gail April 11, 2008 at 7:00 pm

Gail is delighted to know you enjoyed her chicken recipe. The slash-and-slather method works on lots of other things, too! Change around the ingredients and have fun with the method. It is truly a great stress reliever!


Vicky February 22, 2019 at 3:55 pm

I accidently found your blog as I was perusing other recipes. I haven’t made Psycho Chicken for YEARS! I remember you and Gail, the ‘Bulletin Board Goddess”, from Cooking Light! Too bad That’s all gone. I’ll be making this soon.


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