In their fourth movie together, Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea star in Union Pacific, this week's "Movie of the Week." Directed by Cecil B. DeMille, Union Pacific is the story of the building of the transcontinental railroad. Or more specifically, it's about an Irish "end-of-track" postmistress (Barbara Stanwyck), her gambling fiancé (Robert Preston) and the former Union army captain sent to maintain law and order along the line (Joel McCrea). Naturally, what happens is that postmistress Mollie Monahan and Captain Jeff Butler can't seem to stay away from each other. Probably because Joel McCrea has got to be one of the most adorable men ever.
There are shoot-outs with Indians, brawls in saloons a train robbery and a burning bridge. After all, Union Pacific is a Cecil B. DeMille spectacular. It may sound a bit corny, but Union Pacific is actually pretty darn entertaining. Robert Preston is great at teetering on the edge of villainy and Brian Donlevy makes an entertaining baddie. Of course, Joel McCrea is terribly charming and despite her bad Irish accent, Barbara Stanwyck is at her plucky best. You know you'll be looking for a popcorn movie this summer--may I suggest Union Pacific?
I personally prefer my roast chicken warm, but hot or cold, this recipe is ridiculously easy.
Easy Roast Chicken
1 free-range chicken (mine was 4.3 lbs)
1 onion, sliced
2 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons very soft butter
One hour before roasting, take the chicken out of the fridge to come up to room temperature. After about forty minutes, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place the sliced onion in an oval casserole just slightly larger than the chicken. Place the chicken on top and stuff the lemon and thyme in the cavity. Rub the butter over the top of the chicken and season well with salt and pepper.
Place chicken in the middle of the oven and roast for 24 minutes per pound (my chicken took nearly an hour and forty-five minutes). Pierce the thigh with a sharp knife to make sure the juices aren't pink. Rest chicken, tented with foil, for 15 to 20 minutes, then carve and serve.
Adapted from "Classic Roast Chicken and Gravy" from BBC Good Food.
You can roast potatoes while the chicken is in the oven, as well. I used whole new potatoes and served them halved and covered in the chicken's cooking juices.
Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth
Also in this issue, there's an article about "Britain's Royal Youngsters." We're told that as of her birthday (April 21st), thirteen-year-old Princess Elizabeth has "permanently graduated to long silk stockings and was given a diamond bracelet by her father." How grown-up she must have felt! Is that a corgi under the piano?