What I have learned from roasting three chickens this week:

1: Spreading a little bit of mayonnaise — enough to make it glossy, wiping away any excess that shows up as white — on the skin of the chicken, instead of butter, crisps the skin up until it’s almost paper-thin. The skin also seems to end up with less chicken flavor, but it’s hard to tell after doing it only once.

2: I really like roasting it breast-side-down, one of the ways Steingarten mentioned, instead of breast-side up. The thighs and breasts are done at the same time with no hassle or intervention on my part. I’m not sure how well this would work with a stuffed bird.

3: Marinating a chicken for three days in something with salt (mojo criollo in this case) amounts to brining it: enough so that the chicken tastes kind of like a cross between smoked chicken and ham. It isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t serve a chicken craving.

4: Coq au vin really does not work when I compromise and try to make it more traditional: my method layers potatoes, onions, and chicken thighs seasoned with green peppercorns and herbs, and an amount of wine such that when it’s first added, it doesn’t come up to the level of the chicken — but it might once the chicken and onion juices start to come. Anything else, and everything gets either too much or too little wine flavor.

5: Leftover chicken might be the most flexible and accomodating leftover meat, and not because it lacks taste. It’s the texture, at least in part — you can cook it wet or dry, long or short, and everything pretty much works out. When was the last time beef did that for you? Yeah, half past never is when.