Life is always changing. Two years ago Walk in the Park Day had all sorts of strange restrictions. We were in lock down. People only went out when absolutely necessary. While walks were encouraged, local parks were closed.
Once upon a time, playgrounds looked like ghost towns. I remember driving up into the foothills for what turned out to be our last public gathering for the next year. You could feel a change in the air. People were nervous. Fear became more than just the norm as logic and reason went out the window for a while.
Today is National Walk in the Park Day. A walk in the park is a celebration in living, a connection to the world around us, the beauty in the most simple of activities. We can continue to live in fear or we can choose to step outside. Feel the sun on our faces. Listen to the laughter of children. Hold hands and find that inner peace. Life is a risk. But the joy of living is unlike any other.
There are many ways to die. Not living is one such way. While I don’t want to die, I know one thing with certainty – we are all in some stage of death. It is the one thing we cannot escape. I draw my strength in the knowledge that life exists beyond death. Therefore death doesn’t scare me. Regrets? Sure. But living isn’t one of them. Loving isn’t one of them. Taking a chance on my fellow man isn’t one of them.
Come take a walk with me. I’ll bring the chicken. You can bring the wine.
Spice-Rubbed Picnic Chicken in Sourdough Bread
6 tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Kosher Salt (reduce by half if using table salt)
1/4 cup Chili Powder
1/2 cup Paprika
4 teaspoons White Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper or more to taste
For The Chicken and Everything Else
2 Chicken Breast, split
4 Chicken Thighs, trimmed
4 Chicken drumsticks
2 large or 4 small Sourdough Bread Bowls, hollowed out (save bread)
2 large or 4 small sheets of foil (to wrap the chicken-filled bowls)
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil and top with wire racks. Combine sugar, salt, chili powder, paprika, pepper and cayenne in a small bowl. Coat chicken pieces with spice mixture, gently lifting skin to distribute spices underneath while leaving skin attached to chicken. Place chicken skin-side up on prepared wire racks, tent with foil and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, up to 24 hours for best flavors.
Adjust oven racks upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 475-degrees. Remove foil covering from chicken and roast until brown, crisp and breasts register 160-degrees. Roast chicken for 20 minutes. Switch and rotate baking sheets, continue to roast 15 minutes longer.
Transfer breast pieces to a platter or dish, cover to keep warm. Continue to roast thighs and drumsticks until they register 175-degrees, about 10-15 minutes longer. Turn off oven. Place an assortment of chicken pieces inside each bowl. Top with bread “lid”. Wrap tightly in foil and keep in the warm oven until ready to pack into picnic baskets. Bread will absorb some of the chicken flavoring while keeping the chicken warm.
This chicken will travel well and remain warm. It’s not only great for picnics, but outdoor potlucks, too!