Cooking Chronicles of a Librarian Assistant

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Welcome to a new feature where our intern, Laura Pamplona blogs about her experiments in the test kitchen with library books!

During my time at ICC I have not only been able to learn about books, cataloging and all things librarian; but I have also been able to learn about FOOD! After shelving endless cookbooks and talking about it with the friendly people that come to visit us, I decided I should give cooking a try. I mean, if the covers of these wonderful books don’t inspire you enough, I don’t know what will…

I’d like to emphasize that I do NOT cook professionally, nor for my own enjoyment. Every time I go into the kitchen it’s because someone not skilled enough (to cook for me) is hungry. I do know how to cook in order to survive, but more than that would be a miracle.

Consequently, I decided that may be during my time here I could pick up a book (or two) and learn something new!


This time I picked The Great Rotisserie Chicken by Eric Akis. The book got into my hands after I told Sara (our librarian) I wanted to do something different with chicken. In all honesty, if I was to look for the book myself, I would have picked it in a heartbeat! The cover looks amazing and I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but… does that really apply for cookbooks?

After I got home I went through the book with an empty stomach and put post-its on most of the recipes, created a list of ingredients that I needed and waited for the next morning to get it all done. As the sun came out the next morning, I went to Corona, Queens; a neighborhood known for cheap supermarkets that offer an endless amount of food choices, food that you might think shouldn’t even be food! I got my supplies and went home to get some cooking done!

Here is the recipe that I tried:

Traditional Barbecued Rotisserie Chicken

What I did different:

Where I live there’s no oven, but my in-laws have a 18 QT roaster oven that I decided to borrow. I did not use the whole bird, I only cooked the wings. Why? Well, because it was my first time and I really wasn’t planning on ruining a WHOLE chicken on an experiment.

What I skipped:

Chili powder and cayenne pepper (can you tell I dislike spice?) Yes, I know this probably makes a HUGE difference but I was not going to risk it.

What went “wrong”:

The skin of the chicken was soggy. I would say this is because of the roaster oven which doesn’t allow the steam to come out or flow as it would on a conventional oven.

What I wonder:

  • Can you reach a crispy texture on a roaster oven?
  • Would the cayenne and chili powder enhance the flavor more?
  • Would other parts of the chicken work better than the wings?

I tried this recipe twice, the second time I did it in a conventional oven, and yes, it was WAY better than in the roaster oven.

Overall I would recommend this book to ANYONE who has a conventional oven and that feels their average chicken recipe needs a twist.


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