Michael Ruhlman writes that with all of the prepackaged food and simple recipes in a box that are available, people start to believe that they’re too stupid to cook. He goes on to outline the world’s most difficult roasted chicken recipe, which I’ve reproduced.
Turn your oven on high (450 if you have ventilation, 425 if not). Coat a 3 or 4 pound chicken with coarse kosher salt so that you have an appealing crust of salt (a tablespoon or so). Put the chicken in a pan, stick a lemon or some onion or any fruit or vegetable you have on hand into the cavity. Put the chicken in the oven. Go away for an hour. Watch some TV, play with the kids, read, have a cocktail, have sex. When an hour has passed, take the chicken out of the oven and put it on the stove top or on a trivet for 15 more minutes. Finito.
After you’ve finished with the chicken, you can throw the carcass in a pot (with a touch of vinegar to make the meat fall of the bone), add some carrots, celery, onion and salt, simmer it, and you’re left with stock. Then make some delicious soup.