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It seems ironic that Las Vegas has excessive heat warnings throughout the summer because the heat seems excessive any day. Last week saw highs of 112 degrees.
- Wilted green salad with a bacon vinaigrette
- Hood-fried farm egg
“I thought I would put a cast iron pan out there and just let it get crazy hot on the hood and see if that worked. But with this, anything could happen really. I could just end up cleaning the car and just frying it on the hood – who knows.”
- Slow-roasted olive-oil confit chicken thighs
"Basically, chicken thighs sliced really thin so they can cook. Bathed in copious amounts of olive oil."
- Thinly sliced potatoes and onions
- Sockeye salmon with engine-roasted cherry tomatoes
"We're going to do the sockeye salmon in case the chicken doesn't work out because I don't want anyone to die."
"Right now, the cherry tomatoes are actually in the engine of the car, sitting in a little pie tin covered in aluminum foil inside the hood of my husband's Mini Cooper."
- Glove-box open-faced s'mores
"Basically, its a tray of graham crackers with mini-marshmallows and milk chocolate chips."
“I put all the chicken and the potatoes, which I’m doing separately, just in case the chicken doesn’t work out, all of that is on the dashboard wrapped in aluminum and parked facing the sun so that it’s just getting tons and tons of warmth. I have an oven thermometer in there and it’s just shy of 200.”
"I think the potatoes and onions will be al dente. I don't think we're going to get them soft enough but I think they'll be edible. I think the tomatoes are going to be beautiful because you really don't need much to soften them up and they're drenched in olive oil and herbs. I think they're going to be great, warm, wonderful. The salmon I think is going to be fine because it's medium rare. The big question mark is the chicken. Will the chicken be done?"
"I did do something that was recommended to me and that is I heated the oil outside before I put it on the chicken. That gave it a bit of a bump immediately. Hopefully, that will send us over the edge."
Cook the food between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m when the heat is at its peak. We checked in with Kim at the halfway point:
"It is going surprisingly well. It turns out the chicken is done. Shocking! I thought the chicken would be the thing that took forever and be raw, but it's done, and its really, really good."
"The other dishes are doing well. The potatoes are coming along. I sliced them very thin and they're almost done, maybe another half hour. And then, the tomatoes, they could go another two hours to get really all lovely in those juices. They can go for however long."
"I haven't put the salmon in because everything has been cooking really fast. I'm going to put the salmon in now and take the chicken out... and the salmon should be ready by the time you come over for dinner tonight."
Notes on the food:
The chicken: "It has just been sitting in that warm olive oil for the last couple of hours. You can smell it when you sit in the car. You can smell the thyme and the herbs that are in there. And when you take it out there is a thin little coat of oil. You get a little bit of that taste when you put it in your mouth."
Laura, Kim's neighbor: "It's amazing. It's shocking. I mean I can't believe I ate chicken cooked in a car but it was so clearly cooked. It was the right color and it was hot. It was delicious."
Kim says she probably won't be car cooking again any time soon, but it could be usesful while desert camping.
"You can totally do it. You just have to worry about making sure the temperatures are right. You don't leave it in the car all day. It's not an Insta Pot. You can't misuse it. Everything got pretty done. You can't do anything if you want something crisp. Nothing turns out crisp."
Kim Foster, writer and cook